Healthcare centre plans scrapped in favour of housing (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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A planning committee at Waltham Forest Council agreed that housing would be built in Hickman Avenue rather than a healthcentre and offices
Plans to spend £1m on healthcare in Highams Park have been scrapped in favour of another housing development.
On Tuesday evening the planning committee at Waltham Forest Council gave the green light to developers to build 83 new homes in Hickman Avenue.
The land known as Block H was earmarked for a health centre and office buildings in 2011.
However the now abolished Primary Care Trust and developers Spenhill, a subsidiary of Tesco, failed to reach a deal in the allotted period of time.
As a result the application for housing was submitted.
This week, councillors on the committee judged the developers assessment that it is not ‘financially viable’ to pursue the building of the health centre on the site to be founded.
When Tesco granted planning permission to build the supermarket in Highams Park, £1m was pledged to go towards community healthcare.
After the deal fell through the planning committee agreed that the money should be spread a cross Waltham Forest.
A meeting agenda for the council states that the money will be spent on “the provision of or improvement to services or buildings, which contribute towards the enhancement of health in Waltham Forest.”
Councillor Paul Braham argued against the development.
He told the committee there is not nearly enough school places, doctor’s surgery places and that the transport links are stretched with an increasing number of passengers in Highams Park.
He said: “What we were promised and what the councillors here were fighting for was originally a polyclinic which could offer all kinds of services to local people.
“We understand the need for housing, of course we do, but it is not the right time, it is not the right place and it is not the right land.”
Councillor Braham said that he had heard unconfirmed reports that some of the cash was going to a nearby doctor’s surgery.
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