Group opposing development of Gallows Corner Tesco nears 1,200 members

Gallows Corner development opposition

A group formed to oppose plans to redevelop the Gallows Corner Tesco site has reached almost 1,200 members. - Credit: Google Maps

A group formed to protest the proposed development of the Gallows Corner Tesco site is approaching 1,200 members.

As reported by the Recorder, Havering Council has received a planning application from Weston Homes to build 87 new homes on part of the site's car park.

A total of 189 spaces would be lost from the current provision, with a new 588-space car park outlined in the plans.

The existing hand car wash facility, Click+Collect unit and recycling centre currently utilising the space would be relocated to another section of the car park.

A decision on the application is expected by September 23.

However, a protest about the potential development took place days after the plans had been made public.

With the fate of this proposal a month away, the Recorder caught up with one of the founders of this opposition group.

Ian Jacobs said: "There are no benefits to the local community with this development. A lot of people are very angry about the plans, but we need to use facts to fight it, not feelings."

A resident of Bartholomew Drive for more than 30 years, Ian raised several concerns.

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One relates to congestion, with Ian claiming this development would "affect anyone who uses the A12, the A127 and the Tesco".

With the proposed development near an ageing Gallows Corner flyover, Ian fears that adding another 87 homes would compound issues there.

This view is shared by fellow member Vickie Hogan, who says she already grapples with "really bad traffic" as a resident of Chadwick Drive.

Vickie claimed it can already take up to 45 minutes to get out of her road - "especially at weekends" - and she fears this would worsen if the application goes ahead.

A transport report, prepared by Motion in support of the application, states: "The change in travel demand associated with the proposed development will not lead to severe harm to the operation of the existing highway network."

Ian is also concerned about flooding. 

The developer's design and access statement says the site is at "low risk of flooding and the proposals do not increase flood risk on-site or elsewhere".

Ian contests this assessment, noting his street was among those affected by the flooding which hit at the end of June.

He also queries how drainage would be managed, an issue addressed by the flood risk assessment and sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) report, which expands on a number of risk sources.

While this report states the site is at low risk from "fluvial/tidal flooding", it identifies the south-west corner as having "low-high surface water flood risk" due to how it slopes.

However, it says this will be managed through a drainage strategy which includes plans to install an underground attenuation tank to collect and store excess surface water run-off.

The tank, according to the planning statement, would connect to "the existing surface water sewer within the Tesco site which discharges into the balancing pond on the east side of Whitelands Way".

Ian is also concerned about the type and style of the homes.

The application proposes blocks of between three to five storeys high which are not, in Ian's view, "in keeping with the area".

Vickie agrees, arguing that both the height and style do not "fit" with other housing in the area. 

A petition - centred around stopping the sale of the car park - has also been created as part of the group's campaign. It has reached 489 signatures.

Another protest has been scheduled for September 4, with further information to be released about that event in the coming days.

When asked about the above concerns, a spokesperson for Weston Homes said: “We appreciate all the feedback from members of the public who have participated in the consultation on our application for 87 new homes and we are now working closely with Havering Council to consider and respond to the issues raised.”  

Find out more about the proposal by visiting the council's planning portal and searching for reference P1190.21.