Havering councillors give green light for first phase of redevelopment of former hospital

COUNCILLORS gave the go ahead for the former Oldchurch Hospital site to be transformed into a housing development-despite it coming in as a late application.

At the regulatory services committee on Thursday December 16, councillors voted in favour of an outline application for a residential development on the site in Oldchurch Road, Romford.

The proposals will see up to 368 units, varying from two to six storeys in height built on the site of the former hospital.

Earlier the committee heard that the application was not contained in the original agenda for the meeting and had to be brought in as urgent business.

But Councillors including Mark Logan (Independent Residents’ Group,Rainham and Wennington), Paul McGeary (Lab, Heaton) and Brian Eagling (Residents’ Group, Harold Wood) hit out at the council officers arguing that they could not be expected to vote on something that they had only just seen.

Cllr Mark Logan (Independent Residents’ Group, Rainham and Wennington) said: “I must confess that I did not have access to this application until 6pm.

“I am a bit concerned that we get these applications in so late and I am not going to be able to vote on soemthing that I have not even had the time to read through it properly.”

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As part of the proposals it will see a two way access to the site created on Oldchurch Road via the original development and the plans also include amenity space provided by small private gardens, private communal internal courtyards, roof terraces and private balconies.

But after hearing the size of the scheme, councillors were concerned about the lack of parking space.

Cllr Paul McGeary (Lab, Heaton) said: “It is still a bit of a concern to me that if everyone living in the development had at least one car then we would most definatley have a parking problem.”

The committee also heard that as part of the development, the developers would have to make a financial contribution to NHS Havering to cope with the pressure caused by the increase in the local population.

The application was submitted as an outline appliction meaning that everything apart from scale and access is set to be reserved for further discussion at a later meeting.