THE FUTURE of proposals to build 24 homes on the site of a historic estate hangs in the balance, after the public inquiry into the council's refusal of two sets of plans drew to a close.

Members of the Counties Residents Association (CRA) had previously agreed on a scheme for the redevelopment of the former Chepstow House building in Leicester Road, Wanstead with building firm Telford Homes.

This scheme – the third to be submitted – was rejected by the council in November last year. The planning inquiry was opened to rule on this decision, and to hear an appeal over the council's rejection of the second proposal, dating back to last July.

CRA treasurer Malcolm Dowers, said: “We've asked Telford's which scheme they would choose and they weren't willing to give us an answer.

“What I suspect might happen is that, if both schemes get approved, that they would 'cherry pick' parts from both, because to do that would be quite a quick, easy and cheap process, as everything in both schemes would have been approved.”

The inquiry lasted six days, after it was initially scheduled to last just two.

Mr Dowers added: “We were very happy about how the inspector accommodated us in the inquiry. We were permitted to make a closing statement, which the inspector didn't have to do for us.

“The inspector bent the rules slightly by allowing us plenty of time to cross-examine the experts and so on, and I think that was in recognition of the effort that we have put in to the process.”

It is now up to the inspector to examine all the evidence given in the inquiry, with a decision expected by the end of July.

Mark Parker, managing director of Telford Homes, said: “Today a site visit is taking place at the former Chepstow site on Leicester Road, Wanstead following a six day public enquiry into the scheme where all issues have been discussed and debated in front of the government planning inspector who anticipates her report to be produced by late July 2010.

“Telford Homes Plc hopes the inspector finds in their favour and we look forward to delivering quality homes in the area.”

The Guardian has asked Redbridge Council for a comment.