Upminster Pitch and Putt: Councillors vote 8 to 7 to build homes
PUBLISHED: 10:00 16 October 2020
A decision to get rid of a pitch and putt course to make way for new homes was almost overturned this week.
At a meeting of Havering Council’s overview and scrutiny committee on October 13, eight councillors voted to uphold the decision, seven voted against it and one abstained.
The cabinet decided on September 16 to get rid of the Upminster Pitch and Putt in Hall Lane, Upminster, with a view to building up to 37 new homes on the site.
More than 800 residents wrote to the council to comment on the plans during consultation and the decision was “called-in” by six councillors so it would have to be considered again.
The councillors who called in the decision are Linda Hawthorn, Gillian Ford and Chris Wilkins (Upminster and Cranham Residents Group), Ray Morgon (Residents Group), David Durant and Graham Williamson (Independent Residents’ Group).
A report prepared for the meeting notes the current land is “considered surplus to requirements” and that a quarter of the site will remain open to the public.
You may also want to watch:
It adds: “This report concludes that there is a good quantity of supply of golf facilities in Havering borough and its immediate surrounding area.
“In addition, a £120,000 financial contribution for improvements to Upminster Hall Playing Fields is to be made upon grant of planning consent, secured by legal agreement.
“On balance, and taking into account the council’s obligation to increase housing supply, planning officers consider the loss of open space accords with relevant planning policy.”
At a planning meeting to discuss the new homes in July, Cllr John Tyler (Upminster and Cranham Residents Group) argued that “with nurturing” the site “could become an asset”.
He said: “The potential is there for this to be successful, it is within walking or cycling distance of several thousands of homes.
“This is not just a patch of open ground, this is a wonderful corner of Havering that should remain accessible for all.”
He added that the 37 homes “would not even scratch the surface of Havering’s housing needs” and claimed “the vast majority of trees would be cut down”.
It was estimated at the meeting that only 20 people a day use the course, which a planning officer said needs a “substantial subsidy” to operate.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Romford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.