Havering Strategic Planning Committee 9th July, 2020

Selling Hall Lane Miniature Golf course was a cause celebre in 2019. Outraged residents*, in million pound houses, suddenly enthused for Miniature Golf. Too late. Romford’s Tories sold. This committee spelt out the horrors residents are facing.

The Hall Lane area surrounding the site is recognised for its special townscape and landscape character, with Policy DC69 requiring developments to maintain the special character of the Hall Lane Policy Area which is typified by large detached and semi-detached dwellings set in large gardens with considerable tree and shrub planting. Para 6:15 p27 (see source below)

Havering worries about people living in million pound houses.** Even people on quite decent wages – head teachers, doctors and so on – are deliberately priced out by policy DC69.

But credit where it’s due. Havering achieved 50% of Affordable housing. Affordable housing is sometimes mistaken for what used to be called council housing but is actually a mid-point for those with good incomes who’ve been priced out by inflation.

The Affordable housing, which will be built in Romford away from the Hall Lane site,*** comprises of:

…. 1 x 3 bed unit and 26 x 4 bed units (27 units in total), equivalent to 134 habitable rooms. As a comparison, 50% affordable housing, if it were to be provided on the application site, would equate to 18 units or approximately 72 habitable rooms. Para 6:23 pp28-9

Councillors might have had mixed motives for selling Hall Lane Miniature Golf course but Havering’s dire house building programme has made some progress. All we need now is social housing to complete the success.

Notes

* An astonishing 884 objections against 37 very expensive houses

** 11 The Fairway recently sold for £1.25 million

*** There has to be good planning reasons to not build on-site and on this occasion there are good reasons.

Sources

For a blog on the original decision see https://havering.blog/2019/04/28/the-sale-of-hall-lane-pitch-and-putt-conservative-revenge/

For the agenda of this meeting see https://democracy.havering.gov.uk/documents/g6652/Public%20reports%20pack%2009th-Jul-2020%2019.00%20Strategic%20Planning%20Committee.pdf?T=10

For GP wages see https://www.bma.org.uk/pay-and-contracts/pay/other-doctors-pay-scales/salaried-gps-pay-ranges

For affordable housing see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affordable_housing#:~:text=Affordable%20housing%20is%20housing%20which%20is%20deemed%20affordable,local%20government%20by%20a%20recognized%20housing%20affordability%20index.

For social housing see https://england.shelter.org.uk/support_us/campaigns/what_is_social_housing

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