Rom Valley Way: Romford society praises ‘thoughtful tenor of discussion’ around 860-home pre-application

A visual of what part of the proposed development may look like

A visual of what part of the proposed development may look like, with the river corridor in the background - Credit: Mitheridge

A Romford society has weighed in with its key considerations about the initial plans for a major Rom Valley Way development. 

On July 21, Havering’s strategic planning committee discussed a pre-application for an 860-home development in Romford jointly presented by investment firm Mitheridge and Fletcher Priest Architects.

The proposal would see the Rom Valley Retail Park and Seedbed Centre demolished, and replaced with a business park, play and public open spaces and a primary school, in addition to the homes. 

As well as being in close proximity to Queen's Hospital, the site is also near the location of a recently-approved 972-home development on the former Romford Ice Rink.

Concerns raised at the committee meeting included the number of parking spaces (40), how the potential development would help restore the River Rom, and whether a GP surgery should be considered as part of the plans. 

 Rom Valley Retail Park and Seedbed Centre

Rom Valley Retail Park and Seedbed Centre (outlined in red) could be home to 860 houses - Credit: Mitheridge

Now, Romford Civic Society has also raised what it believes are crucial areas for the potential applicant to consider when reviewing its proposal. 

The society’s chair, Andrew Curtin, told the Recorder: “We were glad to see the more thoughtful tenor of discussion about this possible development.   

“The society feels strongly that issues such as the quality of restoration of the River Rom and how it will be paid for, room sizes and how water run-off and energy efficiency would be dealt with should now come to the fore.   

“In addition to this, the quality of spaces and the materials which would be used to build the scheme become vital.”   

Andrew Curtin from the Romford Civic Society

Andrew Curtin, chair of Romford Civic Society - Credit: Archant

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Mr Curtin said spaces should be “planned into the scheme”, and in order for a building to look good for the long-term, it "needs to be built of quality materials”. 

A spokesperson from Mitheridge addressed several of the society's points, including confirming that all new homes will be made predominantly with traditional brick, providing continuity with the neighbourhood, and that the scheme will provide 1.6 acres of new public open spaces.

They added that the river will be naturalised, with the intention of creating a corridor linking the town centre to the riverside and a new path alongside it.

On next steps, they said: “After the helpful comments from the strategic planning committee, we will be updating the plans and be looking to submit a planning application in the early autumn.”