Letters: Padnall Lake, compassion and traffic congestion

The town hall wants to build homes at Padnall Lake. Its planning committee will vote on the scheme on Monday (November 30). P...

The town hall wants to build homes at Padnall Lake - Credit: Be First

Against plans for 300 new homes

Paul Scott, Arundel Gardens, Ilford, writes:
I am writing on behalf of many local residents including the Barking and Dagenham Heritage Conservation Group and the Marks Gate Padnall Views Action Group to say that we are all  firmly opposed to these plans for the 300 housing units at this site with respect to its environmental effect on the surrounding area which is already congested and polluted enough for residents to deal with. 
There had not been a full enough consultation with the local Marks Gate residents as many of them were unaware about the housing plans on the site concerned here which our local MP Mr Jon Cruddas discovered when he compiled a survey about this planning application when many respondents apparently had not been kept as fully informed as they should have been about the plans for a great number of residential units within their vicinity. 
For example, the Air Quality Assessment Report was not even considered adequate enough which should mean that another further detailed and totally accurate report is required before any judgement is given on this planning application. 
Air quality ought to be the main priority for any new residential developments as there is a definite causal link between respiratory diseases such as asthma and higher amounts of air pollution which is bound to increase within the area if properties are constructed here.
I also believe on behalf of many residents, including the Barking and Dagenham Heritage Conservation Group, that we are all firmly opposed to these plans for 386 residential units of three to 20 storeys because they are far too excessive for this site for numerous public health, safety, social as well as heritage and other environmental planning reasons. This is already a congested neighbourhood without having more flats built here. 
Also, another crucial factor in these objections that we have regarding this scheme is that it will have an adverse effect on the local setting of the town centre conservation area as well as a Grade II listed building and an ancient monument which has actually even been quite rightly mentioned in the LBBD planning description itself. 
This part of the borough is currently suffering from more than enough housing developments already which is putting a huge strain on transport, health, education as well as our police services here. 
The current coronavirus pandemic has proved residents are in greater danger of contracting the virus if they live within areas of high-density housing as well as with great levels of air pollution and properties which have a lack of close access to open green spaces as well. All planners, whether private or public, and local councils ought to be more aware of the overall public health, social and environmental impacts of their housing plans on the residents living within or close to them. 
It is in the best interests for Barking and Dagenham to refuse this application in its current form due to the very fact that having overbearing tower blocks in Gascoigne West will not regenerate this district in any sense for those people living here now or in the future. 
We are aware of the fire safety considerations of high rise blocks especially in the wake of disasters such as Grenfell Tower and others which have proved that this type of housing is not always the safest for its inhabitants too.  
Overall considering all of the actual objections and general concern regarding this high-density housing scheme we would please advise the Greater London Authority to refuse permission for these schemes.


Compassion is reassuring
Dr Leonard Restall B Ed, M Ed (Hons), New Zealand, formerly from Barking, writes: 
The increased display of compassion reported in the Post is encouraging and a genuine concern by many to help unfortunate members of the community. Most people would have regard for anyone in a worse condition or position as themselves but the support and response by a large number of people reported is a credit to the district.
Just in this week’s Post, we have the high response given to Stacie Thomas and her two children in which the help and generosity shown towards them was greater than they could have imagined. 
Also, we have the ongoing support within her school for Lora Milenkova, to raise a fund to continually remember the life and times of Lora who had been an inspiration to many others within her school and beyond.
She was described by her headteacher as “one who embodied all that her school was about”. Lora a young teenager who lived courageously but died from a form of cancer, having lost a leg to the disease, maintained such a high level of confidence even to preparing herself to compete in a Paralympics.
The support given to other to voluntary organisations appears regularly within this Post showing some of the many ‘compassion agencies’ that exist. The list could go on but many of these mentioned may only be the tip of the iceberg for many such charitable organisations do not crave publicity but respect it when recognised.
It is often stated or inferred that the quality of a community can be judged by the amount of compassion shown from within the community. From that position, Barking and Dagenham can claim a high ranking for the many compassionate articles reported in this paper.
The statement, ‘In as much as you have done it for one of these you have done it for someone greater’, so for the many who have responded to a compassion needing position or condition you are to be commended and a champion for your district. Barking and Dagenham, your mark of charity is high and your compassion even higher.


Don’t make city’s streets congested
Caroline Russell AM, Green Party, writes:
Transport for London (TfL) has sent me new data showing that nearly half of all journeys in London were taken by walking or cycling during the first lockdown - 46 per cent of journeys between April and June.
Londoners got a real taste of clean air and quieter streets, and these figures show they got on and made the most of it. Given half a chance, many Londoners will walk and cycle as their main way of getting around. Our streets and parks have been so full of people of all ages walking and cycling, and children riding bikes are no longer an unusual sight.
Now the mayor must do all he can to avoid a car-jammed city, and help boroughs provide safe conditions for walking and cycling throughout London for good. This means bringing forward more money for low traffic neighbourhoods, smooth accessible pavements with tactile paving in the right places and new cycle lanes to link up a city-wide network.
Traffic clogged and polluted roads are not inevitable, so long as the mayor takes this important action.


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