May 19 2013 Latest news:
by Lee-Ann Richards
Saturday, June 16, 2012
»Residents are claiming victory after councillors threw out controversial plans to build a retirement care village on Green Belt land.
The committee voted unanimously to reject the proposals for the site on Moor Lane, Cranham, at the Regulatory Services Committee meeting on Thursday, June 7.
At the end of the meeting, Cllr Gillian Ford (RA, Cranham) said: “We are very pleased with this outcome and remain fully committed to protecting our Green Belt, as once gone it is never replaced.
“We owe it to ourselves and future generations to protect our green and open spaces.”
The application which was submitted in 2010, included 36 care bedrooms, 27 close care apartments, 68 assisted living apartments, communal facilities, car parking landscaping and infrastructure works. The council had receivec letters from 148 residents who objected to the application on the grounds of loss of green belt land, increased traffic, loss of natural habitat.
During the meeting, Cllr Ford urged the committee to reject the plans, she said: “This proposal is a business opportunity that has not considered the rise in light pollution, noise, traffic increase affecting the neighbourhood, the purpose of the green belt and the genuine need of the elderly in Havering.”
She added: “On top of this you have the family and friends visiting, bearing in mind the suggestion residents would come from within the borough or beyond; staff could use the 85 spaces alone resulting in traffic problems in the surrounding area and difficulties for the buses.”
In 2009, the applicants put forward a similar proposal to build a care retirement community consisting of 52 independent living units, 60 assisted living units and 60 care uits of accomodation, but it was rejected.
Cllr Ford says that she believes that the residents would have a strong case, if the applicant decided to appeal the decision.
She said: “There is a lot of opposition from the council and the residents are behind it so if it does go to appeal the case would be very robust.”