Jon Cruddas backs campaign against development plans near former RAF Hornchurch

Jon Cruddas MP. Picture: Andrew Achilleos.

Jon Cruddas MP. Picture: Andrew Achilleos. - Credit: Andrew Achilleos

Jon Cruddas MP has thrown his support behind residents who are campaigning against plans for a development near the site of a former RAF airfield.

The Recorder reported last week that a petition had been set up opposing Anchor Hanover’s proposals to build 21 homes on land north of Cavendish Avenue, Elm Park.

The site is on an estate which sits close to the former RAF Hornchurch base, which was in use during the Second World War.

It now been signed at least 1,700 times, while Elm Park councillors Stephanie Nunn and Barry Mugglestone joined residents in a protest before the latest lockdown.

If the planning application is approved, two three-storey blocks would be built and provide accommodation on ‘affordable’ rent for over-55’s.

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Mr Cruddas, who represents the Dagenham and Rainham constituency, said: “I am in full support of the campaign by local residents.

“There is a strong need for more supported and affordable homes for older people in Havering as the borough has the oldest age population profile in London.

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“However, these developments have to be in the right locations. I hope that the housing association, with assistance from Havering Council, can find a more suitable location for this much needed provision for the older residents of the borough.”

Concerns reported by this paper from those opposing the plans include a loss of green space, the removal of 10 horse chestnut trees and a change in the look of the area.

Anchor Hanover manages 54 properties with shared gardens in Cavendish Avenue and Park Lane, though there are other private houses on the estate.

Nick Hodgskin, senior development manager at Anchor Hanover, has said it will be replacing the 10 mature trees with 35 new trees on the site.

He added: “The changing needs of our ageing society means there is a demand for specialist housing and as a not-for profit provider of care and housing for people in later life, we are keen to work with communities to meet that demand.

“Our waiting list shows there is a chronic shortage of affordable housing for older people in Hornchurch and our proposal to provide 21 affordable new apartments at Cavendish Avenue will see us make these homes available to local people at a social rent.”

“We want to maintain the integrity of the site and plan to utilise private land within the footprint of the existing retirement scheme.

“We will continue to work with residents and the local authority on our proposal.”

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