Concern over high-density housing proposal in Wanstead and Woodford

High Street, Wanstead.

High Street, Wanstead.

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East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter, covering Leytonstone and Wanstead. Call me on 07824 530 127

Criticism is growing of a “horrific” proposal to quadruple the density of housing allowed in Wanstead and Woodford.

A panel of councillors met behind closed doors yesterday to debate six options for the Local Development Framework 2015-30.

One of the proposals would see large-scale developments in traditionally suburban “major corridors” in Woodford Green, South Woodford and Wanstead.

This would require significant changes to current planning guidelines for the areas, which would see them treated as town centres to enable a greater density of homes. 

The exact locations of possible development sites have not been specified.

Reacting to the proposal, Geoff Horsnell, chairman of the Wanstead Society, which campaigns to protect green space and protected areas, said: “Just the phrase quadrupling the density is a horrific idea.

“It could be a sympathetic approach and I would need to view the proposal in more detail before saying much more, but I can say that my initial thoughts are shock horror.”

Carlton Terrace Residents Association treasurer, Jacqui Thornton, believes the local infrastructure would struggle to cope.

She said: “The Times recently called Wanstead one of the best places to live in London.

“It is idyllic around here you see the green belt from the high street which is totally unique for miles around.

“We only have one high school, the police station has been shut and parking is already difficult and we do not have the facilities to cope with more developments.

“I’m really worried about the knock-on effect of these developments would have, bring in larger chain stores and damage our small businesses.”

Natalie Howard, 27, of Peel Road, South Woodford, fears the area’s identity could be threatened.

said: “People like it here for the way it is today.

 “There are better ways to spend money on improving the streets of South Woodford and supporting local businesses.

“The diversity of the new and old buildings from before the war is so attractive so we need to retain this areas character.”

Other options being considered include building on existing, unspecified “parcels” of green belt land and developing Oakfield playing fields in Fencepiece Road, Ilford.

Redbridge council said the public was not allowed to attend last night’s meeting because details will be presented at a later date.

A spokeswoman for Redbridge council said: All of the potential options considered by the panel will then be subject to formal consideration by the neighbourhood and community service committee and cabinet and will then go out to public consultation.

 “Any proposals discussed at the moment are purely at a preliminary stage and the preferred option or options will not be decided until after public consultation.”

Comments (7)

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1:38pm Fri 8 Aug 14

LakeBreeze says...

I'll tell you why the public are being excluded -- because the "panel of councillors" "debating in secret" already know that their plans and projections are going to destroy greenbelt land and destroy the nature of the areas under proposals. They already know that what they are planning, while being great for stuffing ever more housing into the area, is quite the opposite of great for the quality of life, the greenbelt that gives us some sense of nature (and decent oxygen), and the services and infrastructures that cannot take much more pressure than what they already currently have.

At some point it needs to be seen that quality of life for existing populations is as important as "the need for more housing." The fact is, sometimes "needs" shouldn't alway be forced to be met. Stop trying to stuff ever more people into spaces that will merely become cramped and overcrowded rat warrens of humanity.
I'll tell you why the public are being excluded -- because the "panel of councillors" "debating in secret" already know that their plans and projections are going to destroy greenbelt land and destroy the nature of the areas under proposals. They already know that what they are planning, while being great for stuffing ever more housing into the area, is quite the opposite of great for the quality of life, the greenbelt that gives us some sense of nature (and decent oxygen), and the services and infrastructures that cannot take much more pressure than what they already currently have. At some point it needs to be seen that quality of life for existing populations is as important as "the need for more housing." The fact is, sometimes "needs" shouldn't alway be forced to be met. Stop trying to stuff ever more people into spaces that will merely become cramped and overcrowded rat warrens of humanity. LakeBreeze
  • Score: 19

1:41pm Fri 8 Aug 14

Villagecranberry says...

LakeBreeze wrote:
I'll tell you why the public are being excluded -- because the "panel of councillors" "debating in secret" already know that their plans and projections are going to destroy greenbelt land and destroy the nature of the areas under proposals. They already know that what they are planning, while being great for stuffing ever more housing into the area, is quite the opposite of great for the quality of life, the greenbelt that gives us some sense of nature (and decent oxygen), and the services and infrastructures that cannot take much more pressure than what they already currently have.

At some point it needs to be seen that quality of life for existing populations is as important as "the need for more housing." The fact is, sometimes "needs" shouldn't alway be forced to be met. Stop trying to stuff ever more people into spaces that will merely become cramped and overcrowded rat warrens of humanity.
Yes, I bet they will rubber stamp building houses on that bit of green in the high road.
[quote][p][bold]LakeBreeze[/bold] wrote: I'll tell you why the public are being excluded -- because the "panel of councillors" "debating in secret" already know that their plans and projections are going to destroy greenbelt land and destroy the nature of the areas under proposals. They already know that what they are planning, while being great for stuffing ever more housing into the area, is quite the opposite of great for the quality of life, the greenbelt that gives us some sense of nature (and decent oxygen), and the services and infrastructures that cannot take much more pressure than what they already currently have. At some point it needs to be seen that quality of life for existing populations is as important as "the need for more housing." The fact is, sometimes "needs" shouldn't alway be forced to be met. Stop trying to stuff ever more people into spaces that will merely become cramped and overcrowded rat warrens of humanity.[/p][/quote]Yes, I bet they will rubber stamp building houses on that bit of green in the high road. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 5

4:28pm Fri 8 Aug 14

ChazFinch says...

I want to know where this Woodford town centre is?
I want to know where this Woodford town centre is? ChazFinch
  • Score: 0

10:25pm Fri 8 Aug 14

Villagecranberry says...

ChazFinch wrote:
I want to know where this Woodford town centre is?
Broadway
[quote][p][bold]ChazFinch[/bold] wrote: I want to know where this Woodford town centre is?[/p][/quote]Broadway Villagecranberry
  • Score: 0

9:20am Sat 9 Aug 14

stickmanny says...

"At some point it needs to be seen that quality of life for existing populations is as important as "the need for more housing."

Thousands of people all over the UK want to live in London, to share and increase its prosperity. You don't want to give them the chance, just in case you are affected. Selfish.
"At some point it needs to be seen that quality of life for existing populations is as important as "the need for more housing." Thousands of people all over the UK want to live in London, to share and increase its prosperity. You don't want to give them the chance, just in case you are affected. Selfish. stickmanny
  • Score: -11

6:02pm Sat 9 Aug 14

LakeBreeze says...

Stickmanny, think bigger. It's not even about the personal "you/I".

It's about EVERYONE in an area, all the people who already can't get to see a doctor or register with one because the sheer numbers are filled up. It's about roadways that can't handle more traffic. It's about services that are too stretched because of the already large population. It's about local hospitals too stretched.

There are limits to everything. You cannot go on just building, and building and stuffing, and stuffing. The psychological effects of high density populations packed together to bursting point have been known since way back.

Don't forget, natural attrition happens -- it's not like nobody new can ever come in --- people die leaving space, to put it in basic oversimplistic terms. But the building of more and more forced spaces, cramped spaces just for the sake of "giving everyone a chance..." yes a chance at severely compromised living conditions in an area with failing services that just can't serve the figures. That's not quality of life for ANYONE, not the existing population nor anyone new trying to be here.

The answer is not to let it continue to be that the only "prosperity" to be found is to cram everyone in the world into one groaning, stuffed city or area.

The real answer is that something has to be done to increase the potential for that same coveted prosperity EVERYWHERE. In other cities also. London simply doesn't have the means anymore, or the space, to keep on being everyone's End of the Rainbow. It's not even that.

It's a bigger problem than I know how to solve but I know this is not the answer.

.
Stickmanny, think bigger. It's not even about the personal "you/I". It's about EVERYONE in an area, all the people who already can't get to see a doctor or register with one because the sheer numbers are filled up. It's about roadways that can't handle more traffic. It's about services that are too stretched because of the already large population. It's about local hospitals too stretched. There are limits to everything. You cannot go on just building, and building and stuffing, and stuffing. The psychological effects of high density populations packed together to bursting point have been known since way back. Don't forget, natural attrition happens -- it's not like nobody new can ever come in --- people die leaving space, to put it in basic oversimplistic terms. But the building of more and more forced spaces, cramped spaces just for the sake of "giving everyone a chance..." yes a chance at severely compromised living conditions in an area with failing services that just can't serve the figures. That's not quality of life for ANYONE, not the existing population nor anyone new trying to be here. The answer is not to let it continue to be that the only "prosperity" to be found is to cram everyone in the world into one groaning, stuffed city or area. The real answer is that something has to be done to increase the potential for that same coveted prosperity EVERYWHERE. In other cities also. London simply doesn't have the means anymore, or the space, to keep on being everyone's End of the Rainbow. It's not even that. It's a bigger problem than I know how to solve but I know this is not the answer. . LakeBreeze
  • Score: 2

7:25am Sun 10 Aug 14

stickmanny says...

Wanstead and Woodford are not cramped. If decent quality housing was approved for these areas I took it you would oppose on the ground that the 'nature of the area' was being changed.

Provision of infrastructure is a different question. OF COURSE it needs to be provided, but never is because govt are not prepared to make the investment.
Wanstead and Woodford are not cramped. If decent quality housing was approved for these areas I took it you would oppose on the ground that the 'nature of the area' was being changed. Provision of infrastructure is a different question. OF COURSE it needs to be provided, but never is because govt are not prepared to make the investment. stickmanny
  • Score: -1

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