Havering’s Resident Associations and Planning

If, as expected, Ray Morgon, becomes Leader of the Council in May 2022 he’ll be faced with many challenges. One of which is that Resident Associations (RA) routinely oppose anything that looks remotely like over-development. To the outside observer it appears that RAs have a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction, which opposes strategic decision-making. The two photographs below demonstrate what over-development actually looks like outside Havering. RAs in power will have to learn to think strategically, which is going to be a culture shock.

These photographs make the intensity of development in Romford and elsewhere in Havering look positively rural.

6 thoughts on “Havering’s Resident Associations and Planning

    1. Thank you for your comment

      I wasn’t too sure what the *ridiculous comparison* was but I assume the massive over-development of Hong Kong compared to the proposals for Romford and, maybe, the south of the borough.

      Historically RAs have opposed just about anything that varied from the bog-standard development in Havering. The Hall Lane putting green development was a case where they opposed really quite expensive housing to *protect* an under-utilised open space. There are in place national strategic plans for housing and the RAs are going to have to cope with the implications once they gain power. But, again historically speaking, they virtually always revert to type defending their own little plot: this is usually referred to as a NIMBY attitude.

      It wasn’t a ridiculous comparison. It was using a paradigm of over-development as a visual aid for the ludicrous lengths that RAs have often gone to to claim that something that’s basically innocuous is *over-development*.


      1. The opposition to the development on hall lane mini golf is objected to for many reasons by most of the local residents in the area who’s views the RA represent . The objections were very much due to lack of infrastructure , desecration of open space which has included the destruction of 6 trees with TPO’s . I don’t know where in Havering you come from but if you were local to here you would understand


      2. Thank you for your comment.

        Havering has to meet strategic housing policies. An inevitable consequence of that is that there will be change. RA councillors actually did a very good job. They lost the land but gained very expensive housing. The original proposal was for social housing and a far greater intensity of use than what actually transpired. The final outcome was that the social housing element was built elsewhere in the borough. Therefore the social balance was maintained but the borough made a small step in fulfilling their housing obligations.

        An RA Administration will find themselves involved in nicely nuanced decision-making positions. The TPOs don’t trump hosing plans but they do have to be taken into account. The land wasn’t *desecrated* it was developed just in the same way that your house was presumably in the 1930s or whenever. I’m unsure what you mean by *infrastructure* but in terms of density the impact was trivial.


  1. As the previous commenter above says, this is indeed a ridiculous comparison.

    Hong Kong, firstly, is a city in its own right. Urban development was a necessity in the economic progression. Havering, in contrast, is a suburban London borough established in the 1960s with huge amounts of Green Belt. The intention of this was to give the urban areas of inner London a more pleasant exterior. The Local Plan Havering recently adopted still defends these principles, in theory.

    The HRA accept the necessity of development in areas where it is appropriate. Green, public spaces, are not appropriate spaces for urban development. The Hall Lane Golf Course you refer to was a beautiful open space and only unused because the Council refused to support it.


    1. Thank you for your comment.

      The RAs historically speaking routinely have a vision which is intensely parochial. ‘Pavement Politics’ is fair enough to galvanise support and Bob Perry is now exploiting Facebook to support his effort in Squirrels Heath ward. Let’s imagine that he’s successful. The problem then is projecting forward to making strategic decisions about contentious major developments. RAs ‘normally’ try to avoid contentious decisions which is impossible if you’re the Administration. That’s my worry

      The Hong Kong over-development photographs are a reality check about what over-development actually means as opposed to a phrase thrown into the mix at a planning meeting. It might be that the RAs will be cohesive enough to withstand pressure and will make strategic decisions and that, in my view, is one of the challenges for Ray Morgon.


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