Weekly Planning News

Three new Applications this week:

2587/14:  167 Hermon Hill – two storey side extension

2479/14:  1 Maybank Avenue – two storey side extension

2510/14:  65 Grenville Gardens – two storey side extension to create new dwelling; rear extension

and the following Decisions:

2146/14:  55 Grenville Gardens – demolish extensions; new rear extension – Approved with conditions

1142/14:  5 Charnwood Drive – single storey front extension – Refused

0656/14:  15 South View Drive – demolish rear extension; new rear extension – Approved with conditions

1696/14:  GF 149 Hermon Hill – demolish external staircase; new side & rear extension – Approved with conditions

You can get more information on any of these from the Council website planning page, and searching on the planning reference.





‘Weed’ prefer a better service!

Residents of the Hill Farm Estate have been up in arms about the appalling standard of maintenance of the bushes and shrubs along the roadside verges in their area.  The Focus Team has been fighting to get the Council’s contractors to do a proper job.

Back in May we alerted the Council to the fact that the grass verges had not been mowed – following our complaints, that was done.  We then demanded that the shrubs, and the weeds that had been allowed to grow among them, be dealt with.

Since then, the contractors Ground Control have been back several times and only now, after more complaints from Focus Councillors and residents, have they trimmed all the bushes and cleared away the cuttings.  Unfortunately the area still looks scruffy because the areas of grass that were under the spreading vegetation have all died and there is bare earth and more weeds coming along.  And the grass needs mowing again . . .  .

We are informed that the Council will take ‘the appropriate action’ against Ground Control.  Nevertheless we will continue to ask tough questions about the contract itself and the unacceptable performance of the contractors.

Let us know if there are similar problems anywhere else in the area.

Planning news

Some recent planning applications in Roding ward:

5, Gordon Road, South Woodford, London, E18 1DW:   Rear extension to basement, first and second floor levels (2171/14)

63, Onslow Gardens, South Woodford, London, E18 1ND: Demolish existing garage, single storey rear projection and outbuildings. Two storey side extension with hipped roof, single storey front extension incorporating new porch. Two storey rear extension and single storey rear extension. Loft conversion with hip to gable roof alteration, rear dormer and Juliet balcony. New patio with steps down to garden. (Summary) (2003/14)

157-159, St Barnabas Road, Woodford Green, IG8 7DG:  Demolition of existing outbuilding and erection of new outbuilding to provide additional accommodation for existing D1 use (Summary). (1977/14)

9, Raven Road, South Woodford, London, E18 1HB:  Change of industrial unit (Use Class: B1, B8, D1) to a church (Use class: D1) (1988/14) Woodbridge High School, St. Barnabas Road, Woodford Green, IG8 7DQ: Demolition of existing dining hall to the rear of the Wynndale Building and construction of a single storey dining hall with a larger footprint and height(Summary) (2159/14)

 37, Crescent Road, South Woodford, London, E18 1JA:  Loft conversion with rear dormer. Three front roof lights and two roof lights to two storey rear projection. (1917/14)

 Flat Ground Floor, 1, Latchett Road, South Woodford, London, E18 1DL:  Single storey rear extension. (1849/14)



Pothole Repair in Roding

Several badly pot-holed roads in Roding ward are to benefit from a Council project to repair bad road surfaces.

Diana Close, Fosters Close, Ashbourne Avenue, Burton Road and Cadogan Gardens will be treated.  

In June 2014 the Department for Transport (DfT) allocated  Redbridge Council £325K  from the £10 million London share of the £168 million Pothole fund available to all councils in England.  This was the result of a successful application to the DfT pothole fund  in May 2014.

The Council has set a target to fill a minimum of 8000 pot holes by March 2015.  They have identified the worst roads in the borough and when doing the work they will also look at nearby roads to treat if necessary.  They will be working through the borough starting in the East over the next nine months, which means that our roads in Roding will be nearer the end of the programme than the beginning!

The Council will continue to monitor and inspect all roads in the borough as usual and will continue to deal with serious and dangerous defects urgently as they do now.

As always, let us know if you think there are any roads in a poor state in Roding which are not being dealt with! 


Roding flood prevention: another step forward

IMG_4568The Environment Agency has announced that it is now adopting the recommendations of the flood risk management strategy for the River Roding which was approved in July 2012 following extensive public consultation.  The Agency will now begin to implement the preferred options.

They are writing to all properties and landowners within the boundary of the River Roding’s flood plain, advising them of the strategy recommendations and how the implementation will impact on their property.  The Roding Strategy recommendations, which include a flood storage area at Shonks Mill upstream of the M25 as well as changes to maintenance activities, will reduce flood risk to about a thousand properties.  The Agency has started investigations into the flood storage area and will contact local residents in the coming months.  They say that ‘unfortunately, some properties will remain at high risk, or in a few cases, have an increased risk of flooding. We are working with these property owners to offer advice and guidance to ensure they are aware of their risk and steps they can take to minimise this risk and prepare for flooding.’  (These properties are not in Roding ward.)

Before the Agency fully implements the changes to their maintenance work in this area, they will write to all affected parties to give at least twelve months’ formal notice of the change. 

This is another important step forward in the prevention of serious flooding in the Woodford area, which has been supported by Redbridge Council and in particular by Roding ward’s Cllr Ian Bond.

To find out more, see details of the Roding scheme on the Environment Agency’s website here.

Repairs planned for the A406

Transport for London (TfL) has announced that it will be carrying out major resurfacing work on the A406 North Circular between the Waterworks Roundabout and Charlie Brown’s Roundabout, starting on Friday 25 July (tomorrow).A406


The work will also affect the M11 slip road.

The aim is not only to repair the surface but also the underlying concrete road base, which has deteriorated.

Work will be carried out at weekends during the night, to minimise disruption to traffic, between 10 pm on Friday and 6 am on Sunday. When required there will also be weekday overnight work between 10 pm and 6 am.  There will be no work on the weekend of 9/10 August, because of the bike ride, or the weekend of the August Bank Holiday.

TfL will try to do the noisiest work before midnight.  Access for emergency vehicles will be maintained.  There will be times when access to and from the A406 and M11 may be affected, and diversions will be signposted.

On certain nights the 123 bus will have to be diverted.  Information about this will be posted at the bus stops.

They expect to finish by mid October.  Despite the disruption, we hope you will welcome this work, for which we have been pressing for some time given the poor state of this main road.  If any residents do have any concerns during the work, please get in touch with Gwyneth or Ian.



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!