Plan to build 1,050-home estate on former Romford Ice Rink

Romford Ice Rink closed in 2013.

Developers want to build 1,050 homes on the old Romford Ice Rink site in Rom Valley Way. - Credit: Lee Power

Plans to build what could be “the largest estate in London” on a former Romford Ice Rink site were discussed on Wednesday night by Havering councillors.

Developer Impact Capital Group aims to build up to 1,050 homes, more than 300 of which will be affordable.

Havering Council granted Affinity Global permission to build 620 homes on the site in 2018 but construction never went ahead.

Impact Capital Group founder Robert Whitton told the council’s strategic planning committee the company seeks a “net-zero carbon future” and will focus on “high sustainability modular design”.

CEO Nick Shattock added that “care is one of the most important elements in this development”, explaining the average age of tenants would be 78.

He explained this is because Havering has “the oldest demographic in London”, with around 35 per cent of residents at retirement age, and would lift the “burden on social services, care homes and the NHS”.

The development aims to have 24-hour carers, recruited from the local area, to tend to its older and more vulnerable residents. It is estimated there will only be around 400 children living there.

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Regarding the 2018 application that failed to materialise, Mr Shattock said: “When the GLA reviewed (the plans), they increased affordable housing to 20 per cent and a 10 per cent profit on cost was turned into a loss-making situation.

“We have had to entirely review the scheme and change all the assumptions with regards to the public realm and the layout of parking.”

Cllr Timothy Ryan (Con, Brooklands) warned the addition of thousands of residents “has to be done correctly”.

Havering’s independent quality review panel, made up of 20 experts, previously raised concerns that the number of homes “is simply too high to allow for the creation of a high quality neighbourhood”.

The committee also sought reassurance that future residents would get enough sunlight in their homes and how the developer would control the impact on traffic.

A report said the developer did not believe the plans would create “significant levels of traffic”.

It was estimated that the final plans will appear before the committee next spring.