SOUTH WOODFORD: Call for Boris to act on dense homes (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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SOUTH WOODFORD: Call for Boris to act on dense homes
BORIS Johnson is to be asked to protect suburbs from over-development after a landmark ruling left a large swathe of Wanstead and Woodford vulnerable to dense housing.
The case of a Victorian House in Bedford Road, South Woodford, which is set to be demolished and replaced by flats, has alarmed Greater London Assembly member Roger Evans so much he is calling for guidelines to be changed.
Redbridge Council repeatedly turned down a bid by LJ Construction to build eight flats on the site, saying the plans squeezed too much onto the space.
But the Planning Inspectorate later decided that rules on density should be relaxed because the site is within 400ft a classified town centre, where developers have more freedom.
But concerned campaigners claimed the ruling could have significant consequences for large parts of Wanstead and Woodford, essentially doubling the size of the designated town centre.
Mr Evans agrees and plans to confront the Mayor of London directly on the issue during a forthcoming City Hall Q&A session.
He said: “My concern is this type of decision blurs the boundaries of town centres and suburban areas.
“It’s a big worry for the people here because a decision like that could mean the boundaries are no longer sacrosanct and their areas could become part of the town centre.”
Tom Jennings, of Bedford Road, is pushing for a Planning Inspectorate rethink.
He said: “The Inspectorate is using the absolute distance of 400ft but that is for any town centre; they’re not taking into account the fact that ours is comparatively small compared with others.”
LJ Construction failed to win its appeal against the planning decision on a technicality, but the Planning Inspectorate ruling means the application is likely to be passed by the council’s planning committee.
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