Multi storey homes plan for Romford retail park site

Developers are hoping to build 860 homes in blocks of up to 12 storeys high on the site of Rom Valley Retail Park and Seedbed Centre in Romford.

The plans involve building six courtyard blocks containing flats, a small number of terraced houses, a primary school and 3,000sqm of “light industrial maker space”.

In a presentation to councillors on the strategic planning committee on 22nd July, more details of the development were revealed by the site’s owner, Mitheridge Capital Partners, and architect Stina Hokby.

Hokby said they plan to also create a “green amenity” space along the River Rom, including a pedestrian and cycle path leading to Romford Town Centre.

She added: “The vision is focused around mixed-use delivery, creating a thriving sustainable neighbourhood for living and working in, I think that mixed use is really important.”

The height of the buildings will range from “three to twelve storeys,” with eight storeys at “shoulder height” to the recently approved 972-home Romford Ice Rink development, which neighbours the site.

Councillors spoke positively about improving the River Rom but were cautious about the height and size of the blocks, as well as the limited number of parking spaces proposed.

Councillor Judith Holt said: “I’ve got a few concerns about the density of it, I’m pleased to see some town houses in it, I might be hopeful to have a few more, rather than flats.

Councillor Jane Keane said: “If my kids wanted to play, where would they go?

“And if I wanted to kick a ball, where would it go? From what can see it is a rather deplorable amount of space.”

Councillor Reg Whitney questioned the logic of having a completely car-free development.

He said: “No matter what you do or say, you can do anything you like to the public, they will own a car.”

Councillor David Taylor disagreed, saying car-free developments can be appropriate when close to stations, particularly in areas like Romford where traffic is an issue.

Josh Mellor

Local Democracy Reporter