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Havering Council rejects plans for 98 homes on Cranham green belt land

PUBLISHED: 15:33 04 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:33 04 February 2020

Satelite image of the land south to Kerry Drive in Cranham. An outline planning application has been submitted to build 98 homes on the green belt land. Picture: Google Maps

Satelite image of the land south to Kerry Drive in Cranham. An outline planning application has been submitted to build 98 homes on the green belt land. Picture: Google Maps

Archant

Plans for 98 homes near the Cranham Brickfields Nature Reserve have been refused by the council on the grounds that the development would lead to a significant loss of green belt land.

Inland Homes has submitted an outline planning application to build 98 homes on green belt land in Cranham. Picture: Inland HomesInland Homes has submitted an outline planning application to build 98 homes on green belt land in Cranham. Picture: Inland Homes

Inland Homes' outline planning application was to build the homes with 160 car parking spaces on land to the south of Kerry Drive.

A row of trees would separate the housing development from the Cranham Brickfields Nature Reserve in Sunnycroft Gardens.

The developers also intended to introduce a wetland area and swale (marshy place) to provide a habitat for wildlife.

In the Design and Access documents, Inland Homes acknowledged that the houses would be built on designated green belt land but the developers suggested that the need for affordable housing in Havering outweighed the negatives of building on a green space.

The applicant said: "The development of this site would in fact create a much stronger green belt boundary as it would be defined by the railway line and the edge of the nature reserve."

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But planning officers at Havering Council disagreed and refused the application on Friday, January 31.

Helen Oakerbee, assistant director of planning at Havering, referenced the National Planning Police Framework 2019 which states that building is only permitted on green belt land in the most "exceptional circumstances".

"No very special circumstances to warrant a departure from this policy have been submitted in this case and the proposal is therefore contrary to Policy DC45 of the London Borough of Havering Adopted Core Strategy," said Ms Oakerbee in the refusal document.

She also noted that the loss of the green belt site would have a negative impact on the "physical and mental health benefits to the local community."

"The contribution this parcel of land brings to encouragement of active lifestyles and enabling access to recreation space and natural landscapes appears to be overlooked, and mitigation of the loss of these services has not been adequately addressed by the application."

The application was also refused because of its proximity to a potential archaeological site.

The housing would have been built alongside the Cranham headwater of the Mardyke, a river along which prehistoric and Roman settlement activity has been commonly found.

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