Havering Council throws out Gidea Park planning application which received more than 200 complaints

People power won the day as Havering Council’s regulatory services committee upheld the complaints of more than 200 residents against a Gidea Park planning application.

On Thursday of last week the panel threw out plans to build a three bedroom house in land on the grounds of Hare Lodge in Upper Brentwood Road.

The proposals had angered nearby residents, and 239 of them sent letters of objection to the council.

Two applications to demolish the Hare Lodge building and build flats and houses on the site had been refused in 2007 and 2008 respectively.

Council officers had recommended the new proposals - which would leave Hare Lodge itself intact - be approved.

Joyce Leicester, secretary of the Gidea Park and District Civic Society, and ward councillors Cllr Lynden Thorpe (Conservative, Squirrels Heath) and Cllr Eric Munday (Conservative, Squirrels Heath) spoke against the proposal.

Mrs Leicester, who said she had been asked by a number of residents to speak on their behalf, outlined a number of objections including that at just 1.3m away, the new building would be too close to existing homes on Cranbrook Drive.

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She added that the plan would defy the council’s Gidea Park Special Character Area policy. She said: “The proposed flat roof is not in keeping with the area. The nearest similar houses are nearly two miles away.”

Lee Taylor, representing the applicant, said: “As the panel can see from our design the local area houses are very disparate and nearby there are 1960s-built flats.”

He said that the proposals would look “nice” and added that the area has “different architectural styles and no particular style predominating.”

But councillors Thorpe and Munday echoed Mrs Leicester’s sentiments.

Cllr Thorpe also pointed out that the fire brigade had raised concerns about the access that would be available for its vehicles to get to the building in an emergency.

Committee member Cllr Ron Ower (Residents’ Association, Upminster) branded the proposal a “joke” that would undermine the beauty of the area and Hare Lodge itself.

Cllr Ower proposed that the plan be refused and Cllr Barry Tebbutt (Conservative, Brooklands) seconded the motion.

It was unanimously rejected by the 11-member panel.