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Post letters: Protecting pubs, Barking Station, CPZ and Christchurch attack

PUBLISHED: 12:30 31 March 2019

A computer generated image of how Chadwell Heath's White Horse development might look. Picture: EBURY HOLDINGS

A computer generated image of how Chadwell Heath's White Horse development might look. Picture: EBURY HOLDINGS

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Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Post readers this week.

Council policy is to protect pubs

Colin Newman, Barking, full address supplied, writes:

Despite being a representative of Barking and Dagenham Heritage Conservation Group, Keith Scotcher (letters) apparently doesn’t know about the council’s Special Planning Document on pubs.

The full document, published in 2014, can be read here: Here’s the essence of it, quoted directly:

“1. The retention of public houses (pubs) is supported. The loss, change of use, redevelopment or demolition of a pub will be resisted.

2. Proposed change of use of a pub will only be permitted where the applicant has satisfied the following criteria:

The pub has been marketed for a continuous period of 12 months as a pub, at a price agreed with the council, following an independent professional valuation (paid for by the developer) and there has been no interest in either the free[hold] or leasehold as a pub. The outcome of this exercise should be presented in a viability report which demonstrates to the council’s satisfaction that all reasonable efforts have been made to preserve the pub use but it has been proven that it would not be economically viable to do so. It has been demonstrated to the council’s satisfaction that there are no reasonable prospects of reuse by an alternative community use despite attempts over 12 months to market it. Evidence must demonstrate that it is not economically viable to utilise the building for a community use.” So it does appear that the council has acted – about fvie years ago – in the way he wishes.

The Jolly Fisherman was certainly up for sale late last year, (details) but I’m sceptical about Mr Scotcher’s claim that it “is to be knocked down for flats”, though of course it might be eventually: I can’t see how the council can absolutely ensure that all pubs remain pubs or at least in community use forever. I could be wrong about The Jolly : The Chadwell Heath White Horse is coming back into use as a pub (if I am reliably informed.)

How the council safeguards pubs

Cllr Cameron Geddes, cabinet member, Regeneration and Social Housing, writes:

I am writing in response to a letter published in your paper (letters), “We must act now to save pub heritage” written by Keith Scotcher of the Barking and Dagenham Heritage Conservative Group.

Firstly, as a council, we recognise the value and rich heritage our local pubs bring to the borough. They make up the fabric of our streets and bring communities together.

We understand that there has been concerns raised about the loss of several pubs in recent years. This was partly due to the lenient planning laws in place at the time which allowed pubs to be demolished or change to other uses without needing planning permission. I am pleased to say that this loophole has now been closed. In addition, we also produced a planning document in 2014 called ‘Last Orders? Preserving Public Houses’, available to read on the council website, which aims to protect our remaining pubs. We have successfully used this document to save the White Horse in Chadwell Heath High Road from being demolished.

We are not aware of any proposal to demolish the Jolly Fisherman on North Street but would seek to retain the pub for the benefit of the local community, and for generations to come.

Lastly, I would like to set the record straight here – as already mentioned above it was pressure from councils like ours that allowed the new laws to be put in place and contrary to what Mr Scorcher claims, your very paper in the issue published on February 27, 2019 carried the story about reopening the White Horse.

Ambitious station plan not feasible

Kundete Ngatala, from Barking, writes:

Martyn Fisher’s wildly ambitious multi-billion pound idea of a new double-decker underground railway station close to the current station at Barking is flawed (Post letters).

It fails to take into account the fact that the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (HS1) railway line runs under the station and existing tracks and would, therefore, have to be moved or avoided as part of his proposal.

Back to the drawing board!

CPZ does not guarantee space

John Dumbleton, Alderman Avenue, Barking, writes:

Following revelations the council is to create new CPZs and that 8,117 households had been contacted, I wonder how many of these realise the implications?

About 12 years ago residents where I live on Thames View were sent letters about turning the area into a CPZ. The implications in the letter were such that it gave the impression residents would have the right to park outside their own homes. We had a meeting with as many residents as we could to inform them that this was not the case and it only meant they could park within the CPZ.

The council officer who sent the letters was contacted and he agreed to reissue the letters outlining the true facts about CPZ parking.

Needless to say the offer of a CPZ was resoundingly rejected. I hope that other people will realise that truth behind CPZs and take action to reject what is in fact a money making scheme for the council.

We are all praying for New Zealand

Dr Leonard Restall B Ed, M Ed (hons), New Zealand, formerly from Barking, writes:

The diabolical massacre in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, was an act completely unexpected.

It is an abhorrence and has provoked much support for victims throughout New Zealand and the rest of the world with thousands attending vigils in just about every town and village.

The police heroically had arrested the suspect within a few minutes of the emergency call and the ambulance services were stretched taking the wounded to hospital, and lives had been saved. New Zealand’s prime minister displayed outstanding compassion for all victims and family members and has been in attendance many times and places to comfort and reassure people. Prayer is being continually offered to overcome this act of evil and is being offered by all faiths. The show and demonstration of love is remarkable and may be a good indicator that evil will be overcome by love. It is the light that will dispel darkness, and love will overcome hate.

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