Cabinet members approve disposal of Upminster pitch and putt site earmarked for redevelopment
PUBLISHED: 16:27 17 September 2020 | UPDATED: 16:51 17 September 2020
Havering Council’s cabinet has approved the disposal of a pitch and putt site in Upminster, which is set for redevelopment.
Outline planning permission was granted in July for the demolition of the Hall Lane Miniature Golf Course and the construction of up to 37 homes. The cabinet meeting, on Wednesday night, saw councillors asked to approve the appropriation of the site for planning purposes and the disposal of the land.
A report said appropriation allows the council, which owns the land’s freehold, to change the purpose of the property following a public consultation.
It added that the council published public notices revealing the intended appropriation and disposal, receiving 868 responses.
Gillian Ford, ward councillor for Cranham, told the meeting: “You will know that the pitch and putt is dear to the heart of Upminster and Cranham residents.”
The planning application was submitted by the council’s housing company, Mercury Land Holdings, and the development would include public open spaces and could also feature three-, four- and five-bed properties.
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An assessment submitted among the application documentation concluded that the pitch and putt facility is “loss making”, “not of a high standard” and “not well used”.
But Cllr Ford questioned the point that the site is not frequently used, adding: “It is closed more than it is open.”
Recurring reasons for objection included loss of open space and the impact on health and wellbeing, as well as pressure on local infrastructure and services.
The council’s chief operating officer Jane West said that the approved plans had been revised since the time of the consultation, which happened last summer, when the proposals were for 48 homes.
Cllr Roger Ramsey, cabinet member for finance and property, said: “Whilst technically the site might be within the definition of public open space, in reality it has been locked up when not in use as a pitch and putt course which the public haven’t generally had access to.
“The plans as they have developed in response to the objections and comments do have a reduced density, reduced number of units and 25 per cent open space which will genuniely be available to the public.”
All of the recommendations, including the appropriation and the disposal, were agreed to.
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