Plans to build blocks of flats in Seven Kings

Redbridge Council’s housing company has applied to build 236 new flats in three blocks ranging from 11 to 14 storeys on a public car park near Seven Kings station.

The council’s company Redbridge Living Ltd hopes to build 160 “market rate” flats and 76 “social, intermediate or affordable rent” flats at the site on Seven Kings High Road.

The long, narrow site is less than 300 metres from the future Crossrail station and is also intended to be one of six new “community hubs” in the borough.

On June 23, Redbridge Living Ltd’s first ever development – for 94 homes in two Ilford towers – was approved despite one councillor objecting it “barely” met the affordable housing target.

Residents have until October 1 to comment on the application before it is considered by the council’s planning committee.

A design and access statement submitted with the plans states the plan “embodies Redbridge Council’s commitment to investment in Seven Kings”.

It adds: “In addition, this development on an underused site will provide new homes for which there is an acknowledged urgent need.”

Almost 6,000 Redbridge households are overcrowded and the borough is one of the most overcrowded places in all of England and Wales, according to the report.

The site is currently used as a public car park and also includes public toilets.

In addition, to housing the council wants to build a “community hub” to gather existing health, business and other facilities from the surrounding areas into one place.

The hub would provide facilities for residents living in Chadwell Heath, Ilford, Newbury Park, Goodmayes, Mayfield, Loxford, Clements Wood and Seven Kings itself.

However, the statement notes a number of challenges that will affect development on the site, including noise from the station and the risk of flooding.

According to the submitted plans the site is “in an area which can be susceptible to noise”, both from the High Road and the railway, including loud diesel freight trains at night. 

In July, residents living in a new tower block next to Ilford station complained to the council that 2am freight trains were keeping them up at night, even when their windows were closed.

The site is also within a “flood risk zone” and is deemed to “have a high probability of flooding”, according to the report.

It adds: “A site-specific flood risk assessment will be required with potential mitigation measures incorporated into the design of any new buildings.”

Redbridge Council is currently in the “early stages” of a project to reduce the flood risk in Seven Kings but the delivery date is uncertain.

Redbridge Living Ltd’s first development on Clements Road will offer 36 per cent affordable homes, just above the council’s target of 35 per cent.

Speaking at the meeting in June, Cllr Paul Canal (Con, Bridge) questioned why the development only just met the minimum target when the council owns both the land and the developer.

He told the committee: “If I ran this past the hundred or so people on the Clapham omnibus, they would shake their heads in abject horror.

“The planning committee in the past has quite rightly taken some developers to task for not having come up with the appropriate level of affordable homes. It does seem to be remiss that we choose that it does not apply to us.”

Social rented homes are owned by either the council or a housing association, with rents linked to local wages. Affordable rents can be no more than 80 per cent of the local market rent, while intermediate rent is defined as “above social rent but below market levels”.

Residents can comment on this application on the council’s website here: http://planning.redbridge.gov.uk/swiftlg/apas/run/wphmakerep.displayURL?ApnID=2733/20

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Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter