Elmhurst Gardens: a Good Time was had by all

The Summer Fun Day at Elmhurst Gardens held today was a great success.  Luckily the weather improved significantly from the wet and dreary morning.  The Community Police vehicles and the Fire Engine were especially popular attractions.

Winner of the ‘dog with the waggiest tail’ competition, judged by local resident  Councillor Gwyneth Deakins, was South Woodford collie Coco.  (Coco is seen (right) posing for the Press photographer with owner Dal, Cllr Deakins and other contestants.)

Congratulations and thanks to organisers the Friends of Elmhurst Gardens and Billy the park keeper (below right) for all their hard work!

Clayhall Avenue U-turn – Traffic Order proposed

After Tory and Labour Councillors recently refused to ask Area Committees to reconsider banning U-turns at Clayhall Avenue, the Council has published its proposed Traffic Order to bring the ban into effect.

Anyone can make an objection to the Traffic Order.  All you have to do is send your objections in writing – stating the reason(s) for your objection – either by post to the Parking Design Team, 10th floor Lynton House, 255-259 High Road, Ilford Essex IG1 1NY, or by e-mail to [email protected]

If enough people object, the Council will have to think again. Otherwise, the U-turn ban will come into force, creating all the additional congestion, danger, pollution and delays that we have warned about.

Objections can come from anyone affected by the proposal, not just local residents, so you can ask your friends, relatives and visitors to object too!

The deadline for objections to be received by the Council is Thursday 31 July 2014.


Labour takes the axe to local democracy

At last night’s Redbridge Council meeting, the ruling Labour Group took the axe to local democracy in the Borough by abolishing the seven Area Committees and the three Regional Planning Committees.

Area Committees

Labour went ahead with this measure even though Area Committees provided opportunities for residents to see your councillors in action, to have your say when local decisions are made, and for the local councillors to take decisions and allocate resources for local projects.

Labour complain that Area Committees were poorly attended by the public, but they were extremely well attended compared with other Council Committee meetings and even full Council meetings – are they going to abolish those too?

Labour’s proposal for ‘Local Forums’ to replace the Area Committees was circulated only hours before the Council meeting, in a poorly drafted and muddled report.  It looks as though these forums will be only ‘talking shops’ as they will have no decision-making powers, and there will only be a meeting local to South Woodford once or at most twice a year.

The real decisions will be taken behind closed doors by a small group of councillors in Ilford.  Indeed the Leader of the Council has passed these local decisions over to officers, who will simply consult with a few councillors before going ahead.   There will be no opportunity for local residents to see these decisions being made, or to have your say at the time.

It seems likely that most of the types of projects that were funded by Area Committees, such as highways schemes including pedestrian crossings, extra street cleaning, grants to local organisations, and anti-crime measures, may be cut by Labour.

Regional Planning Committees

Labour has agreed that more planning applications should be decided by planning officers, not by elected councillors.  Those applications that do go to Committee will all be dealt with at Ilford Town Hall – which many local residents will find a lot more inconvenient than a meeting in Wanstead or Woodford.  The councillors taking the decisions will not all know the local area very well.  And the sheer number of  applications at a single committee may mean very late finishes, with many applications considered only briefly before decision.  The opportunity for either applicants or objectors to have their point of view heard and considered properly could at risk.

During the debate Labour’s Leader said that most councillors were “not qualified” to make planning decisions, and that these should be left to officers because they had qualifications and had gone to university.  He appears not to understand the principles of democracy whereby the Borough’s residents VOTE for the people they want to take decisions on their behalf, and that councillors bring an independent perspective from the staff employed by the Council.  No-one votes for the council officers no matter how well qualified they might be!

Liberal Democrats have always championed area decision-making, with local decisions taken by local councillors, in front of local residents entitled to have their say.  We believe that democracy must be truly local if it is to work at all.

Cllr Ian Bond said: “This is a dark day for Redbridge residents, and a shameful decision by Labour councillors.  Residents should have the right to see local decisions being made, and to have their say, and it is outrageous that all these decisions will now be taken in a bunker at the Town Hall.”

Labour’s decisions to centralise power will be bad for the Council and bad for Redbridge.  But the Liberal Democrats will continue to speak out and fight for our residents at every opportunity. 

The local paper reports are here and here.

Summer Fun at Elmhurst Gardens

The Friends of Elmhurst Gardens are holding a Summer Fun Day in the Gardens on Saturday 19 July, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.  Attractions will include a bouncy castle, facepainting, nail painting, a fire engine, the Parks Police and a competition to find the dog with the waggiest tail.  Also there will be refreshments.  Come along to support the Friends and help to keep the Gardens a pleasant and safe asset for our community!

Planning Application for 10 – 14 Mulberry Way

At tonight’s meeting of the Regional Planning Committee (West), application 0925/14 for the redevelopment of the South Woodford Muslim Community Centre, was refused planning permission.  The reasons for refusal were similar to the grounds for refusal of the previous application last December (out of scale and impacting on the amenity of neighbouring residents).  The applicants have six months from the date of the decision to lodge an appeal if they wish to do so.

Consultation over plans for Holy Trinity Church

A public consultation event is to be held at the Holy Trinity Church, on Hermon Hill, next Wednesday 2 July 2014 between 5:00pm and 7:30pm to enable local residents to find out more about the development proposals for the site. 

It will feature an exhibition of plans, and members of the development team will be present to answer questions and take on board suggestions.  We understand that the feedback will be taken into account before a planning application is submitted to the Council.



Clayhall Avenue U-turns – the fight continues!

At last week’s meeting of Redbridge Council, Roding Councillors Gwyneth Deakins and Ian Bond sought to persuade the full Council to tell Tory Councillors in Clayhall and Fulwell to reconsider the proposed ban on U-turns at Clayhall Avenue.

A group of residents from the Hill Farm estate spoke on behalf of their neighbours and others who use the U-turn to exit from the area to go towards South Woodford.  But an unholy alliance of Tory and Labour councillors voted down the plea to reconsider the ban – even though it was pointed out that banning the U-turns would lead to more congestion elsewhere, more danger of accidents and more pollution than the present arrangement.

Among those councillors who ignored the residents was the new Conservative councillor for Roding ward, whose first act as a Councillor was to obey her Party Whip and let down her constituents instead of sticking up for them.

But the fight isn’t over – the Council would have to issue a Traffic Order to ban the U-turns and if and when they do so, anyone can object.  We are sure there would be a large number of objections to this one!  which the Council would have to consider formally before proceeding any further.

In the meantime, remember it is still legal to do the U-turn!

Weekly Planning News

New applications:

1765/14 – 70A, Chigwell Road, South Woodford, London, E18 1NN.  Extension to existing dwelling.

1684/14 – The Railway Bell, 87, George Lane, South Woodford, London, E18 1JJ.  Placement of benches to the public footway in association with the Public House between the hours of 11.00 hours and 23.00 hours.

1696/14  – Flat Ground Floor, 149, Hermon Hill, London, E18 1QQ. Demolish existing external staircase and ground floor rear projection. Single storey side/rear infill extension and single storey rear extension. (Summary)

1142/14  – 5, Charnwood Drive, South Woodford, London, E18 1PD.  Single storey front extension. (Summary)

1907/14  – 309, Chigwell Road, Woodford Green, IG8 8PL.  Single storey rear/side extension.

1850/14  – 155A, Maybank Road, London E18 1EJ.  Two storey and single storey rear extension. (Summary)

0183/12/03 Development Site Rear Of 3 5 And 7, Westview Drive, Woodford Green.  Protection of trees (Condition 6); Proposed works to trees (Condition 7); Refuse & Recycling storage facilities (Condition 10); Underground car park headroom (Condition 14); Slab level (Condition 15); Surface water drainage (Condition 16): Extension to time limit imposed on application No. 0183/12: Construction of nine 2-bedroom flats.

There is an enforcement case concerning an advertisement hoarding which has been erected opposite 211 Chigwell road without advertisement consent.

 There are a number of applications determined:

1390/14 Removal of chimney. Loft conversion with rear dormer and hip to gable roof alterations to both sides. Three front roof lights. 17, Mulberry Way, South Woodford, London, E18 1EB. Decision: Lawful

1549/14 Single storey rear extension with a depth of 5 metres, highest point of 3.7 metres and height at the eaves of 2.7 metres. 50, Summit Drive, Woodford Green, IG8 8QP.  Decision: Prior Approval  Required – Granted

1058/13/01 Non-material amendment to app. No. 1058/13: obscure glazed window to side elevation at first floor level.  145, Hermon Hill, London, E18 1QQ.  Granted/Approved – with conditions

1006/14 Loft conversion with one rear dormer to main roof slope and one dormer to rear projection. Three front roof lights.  41, Granville Road, South Woodford, London, E18 1LD.   Decision: Cert. Lawfulness Proposed - Lawful

1095/14 Demolish existing rear extension. Single storey side and rear extension. Conversion of garage into habitable room. Steps leading to garden (Summary). 85, Cadogan Gardens, London, E18 1L.  Decision: Granted/Approved – with conditions

0746/14 67, Crescent Road, London, E18 1JA . Single storey side extension. Single storey rear extension. Decision: Full Planning Permission Granted/Approved – with conditions.

0171/14 1A, Victoria Road, South Woodford, London, E18 1LJ.  Alterations to roof and insertion of windows. Change of use from storage and distribution (class B8) to office (class B1) (Summary).  Decision: Full Planning Permission Granted/Approved – with conditions

0788/14 9, Lambs Meadow, Woodford  Green, IG8 8QD.  Detached outbuilding in rear garden. Decision: Granted/Approved – with conditions.



Farewell, Felicity, and thank you!

Felicity at her inauguration last year with Gwyneth and Ian.

Former Roding ward councillor Felicity Banks stepped down as Mayor of Redbridge last Thursday, after sixteen years as a councillor and the longest reign as Mayor that we can remember! (because the elections were held later than usual to coincide with the Euro elections in May).

She raised nearly £75,000 for the mayoral charity Hopes and Dreams.

We would like to thank Felicity for all her hard work for the people of Roding, and Redbridge, and wish her an enjoyable and well-deserved rest!

Local Press coverage is here.

Weekly planning news

New applications:

1756/14   283, Roding Lane North, Woodford Green, IG8 8LL

Rear outbuilding

1572/14   Argus Electrical Co Ltd, 55-57, George Lane, London, E18 1JJ

Part demolition of existing ground floor. Ground floor rear infill extension and

first floor rear extension, including partial change of use of existing first floor

from (A1) to (C3) to form 3 x 1 bedroom flats with covered walkway, new

internal stairwell to first floor, cycle store and associated landscaping.

Re-location of existing loading bay. (Summary).

1557/14   59, South View Drive, South Woodford, London, E18 1NR

09/05/2014 Single storey rear extension. Raised patio to rear garden.