BARNARDO’S have upset retired residents of a quiet Barkingside community, with plans to build 142 new homes and a new access road on their doorstep.

Residents of Copperfield Court in Village Way, a housing development for elderly people in the historic Barnardo’s Village conservation area, say they fear the peace of their community will be shattered if Barnardo's proposal to demolish their current headquarters and replace it with a raft of new private family homes is allowed to go through.

Copperfield Court resident Frances Cohen, 74, said: “When Barnardo’s first proposed this idea, they said they were going to gate us in to give us some peace and quiet, but the latest set of plans are completely different to that.

“We are all very anxious, this whole business has been making a lot of residents very ill.”

Mrs Cohen and her fellow Copperfield Court residents have presented a petition to Redbridge Council asking them to reject Barnardo’s current plans which also include a new access road.

Councillor Vanessa Cole, who represents the Aldborough ward where the proposals are planned, says she fears any new road could create a “rat run.” She also thinks the development is too large.

Cllr Cole said: “Residents moved into their homes on the understanding they were moving into a quiet community of retired people.

“The understanding I get from Barnardo’s is that they want an open access plan, but the residents who are there already just want to be left in peace.”

Steve Thomas, 66, who sits on the Village Way Residents’ Committee, says many of the elderly residents he has spoken to are in despair over the plans.

He added:”Barnardo’s are going to turn what is in essence a quiet village into a concrete jungle.

“It’s not just all these new houses, it’s the road they are planning - it will create noise and pollution.

“We have an average age of 78 here. There are blind people, people with zimmer frames, they don’t need this stress.”

Barnardo’s held a public consultation about the plans prior to submitting them to Redbridge Council in April, but residents from Copperfield Court say concerns they raised at the event have been ignored.

Hilda Berkoff, 76, said: “For some reason Barnardo’s want to cram as many people into this little village as they can.

“A group of us went to the consultation to present our objections, but we were ignored.”

A spokesperson for Barnardo's said: “Barnardo’s values the unique and attractive setting of the site and the further planning permission that we are now seeking proposes high quality homes to enrich the wider community.

“Our plans were shown at two public exhibitions in April of this year and discussed at length with local residents”.

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