Residents and councillors up in arms over “disgraceful” Harold Hill housing developments

A disabled Harold Hill pensioner has spoken out over building works she says will make her life a misery – and which local councillors have blasted as “disgraceful”.

Carol Line, 61, said she had received no notice of the date works would commence on the six new two-bedroom flats just off Straight Road when the drilling started – and is so upset she wants to move.

“My life’s going to be a misery,” she said. “It’s going to block my kitchen and living room light out. I can’t live like that.

“In these flats, there are elderly people and I don’t think a lot of them understand what’s going on. It’s going to affect a hell of a lot of people’s lives.

“At the moment it’s just a garage wall, but when they knock the garages down there’s going to be a great big wall as high as the building.”

Residents’ garages will be demolished to make way for the two three-storey extensions that will house the flats – but Ms Line said she had been given no provisions for alternative parking.

The cancer survivor, who has arthritis, uses a mobility scooter and a specially adapted car. “I’ve got a brand new car just parked out on the road,” she said, adding she had not been reimbursed for the loss of garage space.

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Permission for the works passed narrowly at the council’s January planning meeting. At the meeting, Cllr Keith Darvill and Cllr Denis O’Flynn both expressed concern that demolishing the garages and blocking out the sunlight would affect the elderly residents living nearby. Four objections were received – as well as formal opposition from the council’s own street care department over the effect the plans would have on parking in the area.

Cllr Darvill this week said residents had not received enough notice of the start of works. “Of all the planning applications I’ve seen in the last year, this has been the one that had the least merit,” he told the Recorder. “I thought it was a disgraceful exercise of the planning committee’s decision-making process.

“It’s good practice to notify residents that you’re going to start work on a certain day and that they’re going to last a certain period of time.”

Cllr O’Flynn added: “Havering is a caring council and a ‘couldn’t care less’ planning committee.”

A council spokesman confirmed notification letters regarding the work adjacent to Ms Line’s home were sent to 26 local addresses.

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