Harold Hill campaigners cheer with joy as Havering Council abandon current solar park plans

With a loud cheer, campaigners against the solar park proposals let out a shout of jubilation as the council backed down.

Around 150 protestors gathered at Havering Town Hall prior to the full council meeting on Wednesday determined to have their voices heard.

They were successful.

“I can say that we do not now consider that the Dagnam Park [Harold Hill] proposal should proceed in its current form,” said council leader, Cllr Roger Ramsey during the meeting.

“I have toured the site twice, in a Land Rover with council officers and on foot with members of the Friends of Dagnam Park, I am grateful to them for their time and courtesy.

“I was struck by its beauty and I understand the passion for it.

“Work is continuing on the proposals in identifying the best course of action but the current proposals should not continue in its current form.”

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During a break in the proceedings protestor Dorothy Yates of Dagnam Park Drive, who sat in the public gallery said: “It’s fantastic news . We were all cheering and clapping.”

Di Boyce of Tiverton Grove added: “It’s absolutely phenomenally fantastic. Jan Sargent has worked so hard and Chris Cooper and Lorraine Moss [campaign organisers].

“It shows’s that councillors can be human beings.”

Dorothy continued: “How can they [councillors] say they are going to do this or that when they haven’t even seen it. How can they condemn a place when they don’t know it?”

But the joy may be short-lived.

Cllr Ramsey continued: “My particular concerns include the size of the area proposed and its topography.

“If a smaller scheme for Dagnam Park is to be suggested the form and content of consultation will be discussed in advance with the Friends group.

“If no scheme is proposed no further consultation will be needed.

“I hope to be able to give final confirmation on this by the next full council meeting.”