Three houses can be built on college site after deferral vote is lost

Three detached homes Ardleigh Green

Havering Council's planning committee has approved a proposal to build three self-build homes on the site of the New City College in Ardleigh Green. - Credit: New City College

Three detached homes can be built on an Ardleigh Green college site after a vote for deferral was narrowly defeated.

Havering Council's planning committee voted on Thursday (October 21) to approve the application, which will see homes built at the New City College campus off Garland Way.

The development is part of a wider masterplan to generate funds for a multimillion-pound facility for students with special educational needs (SEN). 

Plans to move the college's car park have already been agreed so the land can be sold for the three detached homes.

This vacated space has also been earmarked for an 87-room care home, which was granted planning permission earlier this month.

A key issue discussed was the proximity of the proposed development to a perceived blind spot in Garland Way. 

This drove Emerson Park ward councillors Roger Ramsey (Conservative) and Bob Perry (Independent) to call in the application, and led to Cllr Linda Hawthorn of the Upminster and Cranham Residents Group seeking a deferral vote.

Cllr Perry said the plans would "create an accident waiting to happen", before arguing they should be deferred back to the highways committee (HC).

However, that committee made no objections in the report, and Cllr Paul McGeary (Labour, Gooshays) said there's no point deferring a decision which is “going to come back the same anyway”.

The scheme was also considered to have drawbacks by Cllr Matt Sutton, whose view was shaped by his experience as a resident of the proposed site area. 

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He believes highway issues could be a problem and predicts heavier traffic will be created by the scheme.

Those reservations prompted Emerson Park's third councillor to support the decision being deferred.

Local resident David Godwin also voiced his opposition to the plans.

He claimed residents of nearby streets - including Wakerfield Close, Newmans Close, Tyle Green and Platford Green - were unaware of Thursday night's meeting.

The deferral vote lost 4-3, with chairman Cllr Robby Misir (Con, Pettits) casting the decisive vote against.

This triggered a vote on the officer's recommendation to approve the scheme, which was granted by a vote of 4-2.

Both Cllrs Hawthorn and Sutton voted against, while Cllr Stephanie Nunn (Residents' Group, Elm Park) abstained.