Decision imminent on major 972-home development in Romford

A 3D mock-up of what the development at the former Romford Ice Rink may look like

A 3D mock-up of what the development at the former Romford Ice Rink may look like - Credit: Impact Capital Group

Plans for a massive 972-home development, including space for NHS work, at the former Romford Ice Rink are due be decided by a committee next week. 

Multiple proposals have been submitted to develop the site, which is located in Rom Valley Way next to Queen’s Hospital.  

Planning permission was granted in 2018 for 620 homes to be delivered, though that has since expired.  

The current plans, submitted by developer Impact Capital Group, consist of seven blocks ranging from two to 12 storeys high.  

An initial application submitted in 2021 proposed to build 1,010 homes, though this was lowered last year to the current total of 972

The site of the old Romford Ice Rink which is due for development

The site of the old Romford Ice Rink - Credit: Ken Mears

In addition to the homes, the proposals detail plans to construct 223 care units, a medical centre, retail and café space, gym facilities and other amenities. 

In a report prepared ahead of the April 5 strategic planning committee, one concern raised by the Greater London Authority (GLA) is the “unacceptable” fact only 22 per cent of the housing is to be ‘affordable’. 

This is less than the minimum requirement of 35pc and way below the mayor's strategic target of 50pc, with the GLA stating the number should be “significantly increased”. 

Other key stakeholder concerns included the ability for local schools to accommodate the influx of children and the additional pressure on the already-stretched Queen’s Hospital

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A total of 251 representations were also made by locals in the area, with 213 in support, 36 objecting, one comment and one no comment. 

Support largely focussed on the need for more homes in the area, while those opposing took issue with the potential density of the site and pressure on essential infrastructure. 

Robert Whitton, Founder and Chairman of Impact Capital Group on the site of the old Romford Ice Rink

Robert Whitton, founder and chief executive of Impact Capital Group, on the site of the old Romford Ice Rink - Credit: Ken Mears

While recommending that the committee approves the development, the report concedes that “some elements of the proposals are not, in isolation, supported by the policy framework”. 

However, it deemed the benefits of the plans "are nevertheless considered to represent a viable, and on balance acceptable, form of development”. 

Robert Whitton, founder and chief executive of Impact Capital Group, said he is "immensely pleased to have secured a recommendation from planning officers".

He added: "We are confident, through our collaboration with the London Borough of Havering urban design team, that the scheme we’ve submitted meets the needs of the borough and the local community, providing exemplary design and community provision that will transform this part of Romford."