Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

BACKGROUND

Where is Bridge Close?

Bridge Close is an industrial estate close to Romford station and lies within the Romford ring road. It is bounded by Waterloo Road and Oldchurch Road.

Why has this been brought forward as a development opportunity?

There is a demand for additional housing in the borough particularly in a location like this one that is close to excellent public transport connections, shopping and leisure facilities. Bridge Close had already been allocated as a key site for residential development in the Romford Area Action Plan 2008 and this was also reflected in the Romford Redevelopment Framework agreed by Havering Council’s Cabinet in July 2015.

What exactly are the plans for Bridge Close?

At the June 2016 Cabinet meeting, Havering Council agreed that Bridge Close could be taken forward for redevelopment, for mainly residential use. The plans that will be delivered following consultation with residents and stakeholders will bring forward homes, some commercial space and a new bridge to allow quick access to Romford station.

Where is the money coming from? Is it council money?

The Council will work with a development partner and both parties will jointly invest in bringing forward Bridge Close as a development opportunity. There is an allocation of grant from the Greater London Authority (GLA) Housing Zone Programme to support the delivery of affordable housing at Bridge Close.

Why do you think this will go ahead this time?

The GLA has provided significant funding and Havering Council’s Cabinet has endorsed the vision for the redevelopment of the Bridge Close area at its June 2016 meeting.

Why was this site not part of a competitive tender?

As a major landowner in the area, First Base and Savills Investment Management were the only partner available for LBH to work with to deliver a comprehensive regeneration of the Bridge Close area. Following legal advice, the joint venture was approved by the Council in November 2017.

Will there be other development in Romford Town Centre in addition to these proposals?

We are aware that Romford Town Centre is going through a lot of change currently and there has been a lot of development. This site is a key residential development in the Romford Area Action Plan 2008. More information on the Area Action Plan can be found on the Havering Council website.

THE TEAM

Who is Havering Council working with to deliver this?

Havering Council will be working with a development partner to bring forward the development of Bridge Close. In April 2017, Havering Council announced that it was has entered into a joint venture with First Base, in partnership with Savills Investment Management, to facilitate the redevelopment of Bridge Close. The joint venture will enter negotiations with land owners over the purchase of their property.

Who is First Base?  

First Base is a leading London developer with a successful track record of delivering high quality mixed-use regeneration schemes.

What is the relationship between London Borough of Havering and First Base?

London Borough of Havering and First Base alongside Savills Investment Management have entered into a joint venture for the comprehensive (residential led) redevelopment of the Bridge Close area.

Why was First Base selected?

First Base and Savills Investment Management are major land owner in the Bridge Close area, and have an established track record in major urban regeneration schemes.

What land interest does First Base own?

First Base and Savills Investment Management control land at the heart of the Bridge Close area including freehold and leasehold land interests, estate roads, a pumping station and 3 residential properties.

Who are the architects?

Fletcher Priest have been appointed as the Masterplan Architects. Fletcher Priest have a wealth of experience masterplanning large scale regeneration projects, including Stratford City. Maccreanor Lavington have a particular expertise in housing, public buildings and the regeneration of town centres.

Allies and Morrison are an urban planning practice who have a reputation for well-crafted buildings and thoughtful place making. Spacehub are on board as landscape architects who specialise in urban design and ecology.

EXISTING USES

The plans will mean that 29 homes on Waterloo Road and in Oldchurch Road will be demolished and the residents will need to be moved. Why do these houses need to be demolished?

The Council approved a comprehensive development of the site at its Cabinet meeting in June 2016. We are aware that there will be homes affected and we are in conversation with them to discuss the process and to provide support. This site was identified by Havering Council as a key area for a residential development.

How are the homes being valued?

All valuations are undertaken independently by RICS approved valuer. Residents can select a RICS valuer themselves to value the homes should they dispute the valuation.

What type of support/ compensation is being provided to residents and businesses who will be affected as a result of the proposals?

The Council has a set of criteria it must follow. An engagement officer from the Council will be available to support residents and the Economic Development Team will provide support and advice to businesses located in the development area.

What support will be given to residents who need to move?    

We fully appreciate that this can be a stressful time for residents and that is why we have a dedicated team of liaison officers who will be on hand to provide information and guidance to residents affected. The team will liaise with external companies on behalf of residents to make the process easier. Any residents affected should contact the team by email on bridgeclose@havering.gov.uk to arrange a one to one meeting.

What will happen to the Havering Islamic Cultural Centre?

The feedback from our earlier consultation event showed that 78% of those who responded would like to see community facilities as part of the proposals. A community centre is being provided including a new space for the Havering Islamic Cultural Centre.

Who do I talk to if I am a resident/business owner?

Conversations are ongoing and we would like to provide as much information as possible. If you are a resident please contact the team by emailing bridgeclose@havering.gov.uk.

Meetings have been held with owners and occupiers of the commercial premises at Bridge Close. If you need to arrange a meeting please contact the team by emailing bridgeclose@havering.gov.uk and they will be happy to help. There is also more information on claiming expenses on the bridge close website.

PROPOSALS

How many homes will be delivered, and what is the mix of private and affordable?

The proposals will provide around 1,070 new homes alongside a primary school and health services, as well as community and business space. There will be a mix of private and affordable homes.

Will the development be entirely residential?

This is a mixed-use development providing new homes and commercial space.

How much will the new homes cost?       

It’s too early to confirm this, however we can confirm that there will be a mix of private and affordable homes.

Are these flats going to be affordable for local people?

The homes that will be delivered in Bridge Close will be a mix of private and affordable homes. These homes will be aimed at a local market providing opportunities for people who want to live and thrive in Havering.

With these new homes, local schools will face more pressure. How are you going to deal with this?

The plans intend to deliver a new 3-form primary school to respond to local need. The plans will be further developed in the coming months. In addition, a new primary school (Concordia Academy) will open in Romford in September 2018, and Mawney School was recently completely rebuilt and enlarged. This means residents in Bridge Close will have three primary schools within one mile of their homes.

How large will the primary school be and what will be the catchment area?

The primary school will be 3-form entry and will have 630 places for local children. We are unable to say how large the catchment area will be at this point.

When will the school be open?

Following the full consultation programme a planning application will be submitted. This will then determine whether or not the proposals can go ahead. If planning permission is granted the construction will begin in 2021 and the full development will take 10 years. However, the school will be provided in the first phase which is targeted for completion in 2024.

How big will the Nursery be?

The Nursery will have 52 places and will be located within the Primary School. The Nursery will provide early childhood education for children under 5 years old.

What will the health facility include?

A new large health facility that could provide a range of facilities from GP services to Mental Health services and pharmacy.

There is talk of a bridge to connect you to the station. Is this correct and what will this look like?

The plans will include a bridge that provides quick and easy access to Romford Station. This new bridge will be designed to be accessible for local residents and to reduce the barrier effect that the Ring Road creates between residents on the Waterloo Estate and Romford town centre. Following consultation with residents and stakeholders, we will share the plans and designs for the bridge.

How are you improving the River Rom?

The proposals include a new pedestrian and cycle bridge over the River Rom, opening it up and making it attractive public space.

Will there be any tall buildings?

Specific plans and designs of the new buildings haven’t been drawn up yet. The Council and First Base are committed to delivering developments of the highest architectural and urban design quality, which complement the character of Romford. Any building designs will be subject to public consultation and planning approval.

Will there be a pollution problem because of the main road?

An extensive study has been carried out on the air quality in the area. A further study will accompany the planning application. Masterplanning and design measures will be taken to mitigate any potential pollution issues.

What will be included in the community hub?

The community hub will be a space for the whole community, including space for the Havering Islamic Cultural Centre.

How are the economic benefits estimated?

The figures shown in the infographic (board 8, ‘Jobs for Romford’) are estimates based on an economic benefits summary that was carried out by Savills. The number of construction jobs is over a 10 year programme based on indirect and direct jobs. The amount of permanent jobs is based on the amount of commercial floorspace. The figures are based on good practice, guidance, data and estimates based on knowledge and experience.

How do you predict the amount of jobs?

The amount of construction jobs have been estimated based on the average output per construction worker and the estimated construction cost for the project.

The total number of operational jobs has been based on job density assumption applied to the floorspace for various land uses at the site.

How do you estimate local spend of £4 million?

This is based on the average weekly household spending from the Office of National Statistics. This figure is per annum.

THE CONSULTATION PROCESS

How have residents have been involved?

We engaged residents and businesses affected by the proposed development and initial meetings in October 2016.  We held our first public exhibition in September 2018, when 208 people attended. This is our second consultation and we will be holding this across two days we are in Mercury Mall on Saturday 17 November from 10am to 4pm and Elim Christian Centre on Wheatsheaf Road on Tuesday 20 November from 4pm to 7pm.

Who do residents contact if they have any questions?

Residents or businesses currently on site can email bridgeclose@havering.gov.uk or visit the project website.

What will happen with my feedback?

The feedback gathered here today will feed into our proposals as they develop. We are dedicated to working with the community to make sure they benefit from this scheme. The consultation process will also produce a report that will be submitted as part of the planning application called a Statement of Community Involvement.

TRANSPORT

How will local transport cope with more homes?

From 2018 onwards, Crossrail in the form of the Elizabeth line will arrive at Romford Train Station. There are plans to improve access for pedestrians and cyclists within and around the ring road, which will help ease congestion on roads in the town centre. We have opened up the site to increase permeability and ease surrounding pedestrian traffic. The site will also open a link from the station to Queen’s hospital. Peter Brett Associates are the traffic consultants for the project.

Will residents add to congestion?

The site’s town centre location benefits from excellent public transport connections. The travel plan for the proposals will encourage the new residents to use this excellent public transport and promote sustainable methods of transport.

How many parking spaces will be provided?

The exact number of car parking spaces is yet to be determined. There will be a mixture of on street and undercroft parking provided within the development, which will include disabled parking spaces. There will also be pick-up and drop spaces for the school/health hub. Also the London Ambulance Service will be provided with a space to park an ambulance when waiting between call-outs. They will also have access to welfare facilities.

Will there be extra traffic and congestion in the town centre during construction?

As with all construction, there will be some additional traffic however we will have a comprehensive construction management plan to ensure that any issues are minimised. This management plan will take into account any other developments in the area.

How will construction be managed?

We will keep the impact of the construction to a minimum and mitigate the impact of dust and noise. We will hold regular construction meetings and ensure that local residents are kept informed throughout the process.