Redbridge planners ‘have personality change’

thecubeThe handling of the planning case for the proposed ‘Cube’ mini-shopping mall on Wanstead High Street has become ‘a fiasco’ according to a Wanstead conservation activist.

Gabrielle Collard says in an article published on Medium (see link below) that over the past year, the “planning department at Redbridge has undergone a complete personality change… the experienced planners have gone, the conservation officer is no more and the new head of planning is a mystery”.

She says a succession of planning hearings, combined with poor organisation by the council, could “wear down” people who oppose the application, and she is encouraging more people to attend a hearing at Ilford town hall on Tuesday 8 September.

Wansteadium has asked Redbridge Council for a comment.

Gabrielle was a member of the Conservation Advisory Panel which, until its abolition in August by Redbridge, involved volunteers scrutinising planning applications within conservation areas such as Wanstead.

Planning matters

4 thoughts on “Redbridge planners ‘have personality change’”

  1. I’ve had the ‘misfortune’ of engaging with Redbridge Planning Dept on a number of occasions both as an applicant and as a member of the public over the past few years and have always found them to be be a conundrum let alone being able to follow and apply planning laws… so not sure the old guard going is any real loss in quality service let alone the new Head being a mystery… as I say, always have been and just appear to continue to be a conundrum so no real hope or expectation of competence. Makes you wonder what you pay your Council Tax for…

  2. I liked Gabrielle’s commentary very much; I’d just add though that serious concerns about Redbridge Planning are nothing new.

    A few thoughts;

    Can you get a soufflé at a burger van.

    Planners hate being challenged and they will hate Wanstead for not playing ball, its reasoned objections, its organised community groups, its residents’s widespread use of planning consultants.

    Is it acceptable to avoid planning consultation with residents that will make the Council’s life harder; you bet.

    That is a crazy decision. Councils are very good at defending poor or incompetent practice/decisions , and dressing them as decisions residents ‘don’t like’ or ‘don’t understand’; this becomes particularly a problem where Councillor oversight is weak….

    Walk around Ilford to understand the what shapes Wanstead’s planning decisions.

    Councillors hate getting planning matters.

    Interestingly, the local government ombudsman found against Redbridge Council in respect of a planning permission decision in the very recent past, and that is rarer than hen’s teeth for the LGO. Council ordered to compensate those affected for loss in value to their homes.

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