Dagenham MP Jon Cruddas in 'crisis' warning over local plan

Dagenham and Rainham MP comments on social care reform plans

Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas believes in the need for social care reform, but says the planned hike to National Insurance is 'not the way to do it'. - Credit: Pawel Szewczyk

Jon Cruddas has warned of a potential crisis in services while calling for people to comment on the local plan.

The remarks from the MP for Dagenham and Rainham came after Barking and Dagenham Council published its draft plan for the borough, which includes plans to build 44,000 homes.

This mooted surge in development has sparked Mr Cruddas' concerns: "This is an important moment for people and it is vital they have their say.

"The draft local plan is proposing thousands of homes across Dagenham which will raise questions around infrastructure such as school places, health facilities, transport and access to green space."

Under the plan, areas including Dagenham Heathway, Dagenham East and Chadwell Heath are earmarked for high density development.

This includes reimagining Ibscott Close and the Freshwater Lane, Selinas Lane industrial estate.

The plans also seek to generate 20,000 jobs and promote green initiatives.

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"It’s clear there’s a huge demand for more quality homes for ordinary people and it’s clear we also need the right infrastructure to go with development," Mr Cruddas added.

A spokesperson for the council's regeneration arm, Be First, welcomed the MP's appeal for comments.

Be First says infrastructure needs are addressed in the plan and the council is proud of its record delivering London's "largest" council homes building programme.

They state that 85 per cent of homes built went to locals while three quarters of those built or in the pipeline are at "genuinely affordable" prices.

After the government pulled support for a new railway station at Beam Park, Mr Cruddas raised concerns about overdevelopment and lack of essential services.

Mr Cruddas said: "We know existing services are underfunded and overstretched. People can’t see their GP; A&E waiting times are at record highs; schools are close to capacity; transport links need investment and our high streets need support.

"Building thousands of new homes will help tackle the housing crisis, but if we do not secure the funding to put proper services and amenities in place, we run the risk of creating a new crisis."

In response, Be First's spokesperson pointed to school places provision, £1.5million invested in parks, more police and a leisure hub in Barking Riverside as evidence of efforts made so far.

Visit lbbd.gov.uk/local-plan-review

The consultation runs until November 28.

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