Council warns it may not buy land for new homes without train station

Havering council leader Damian White

Damian White said the council's plans centre on Beam Park station being built - Credit: Mark Sepple/Havering Council

Havering Council has threatened to withdraw its plans to buy land in Rainham and Beam Park for new homes if the Beam Park station project does not proceed.

Damian White urged the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Greater London Authority to resolve differences surrounding the station.

The Recorder reported last month that the government has never given its support for the station to be built.

City Hall, which took over the project from Havering in 2018, has committed £43million and a spokesperson for London mayor Sadiq Khan said it is working with the government to "agree a way forward".

They previously called the DfT's decision not to back the project "extremely disappointing".

Cllr White called the current impasse "unacceptable" and urged the parties to find a solution.

The council entered into partnership with developer Notting Hill Genesis in 2018 to deliver more than 880 homes along the A1306 corridor at a cost of £250m.

It made the Rainham and Beam Park Compulsory Purchase Order in 2019 to buy sites for the development.

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A public inquiry into the CPO is expected to be held next month, but the council is calling on the Planning Inspectorate for a delay.

Cllr White said: "While this delay is taking place, we feel it is best to see what will happen and I hope that this delay will allow time for a resolution.

“If we do not have a solution in the New Year, then we will reconsider our position further and we may have to look at pulling the CPO altogether.

"All our plans centre on a station being built and is an important part of the jigsaw puzzle for regeneration in the area."

Construction is already underway on Countryside and L&Q's 3,000-home development planned for the border of Havering and Barking and Dagenham.

Jon Cruddas, Dagenham and Rainham MP, said not going ahead with the station would have "huge implications" for future developments and residents who have bought homes on the assumption of the station being built.

A DfT spokesperson said its position has not changed on the issue, saying it wants to "be held immune" from the station project's financial risk for the benefit of taxpayers and passengers.

They added that it supports the housing development in Beam Park and the Dagenham and Rainham area.