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  6. Pickles gives go-ahead for Rainham scheme

Pickles gives go-ahead for Rainham scheme

A residential-led development of 634 flats, 95 houses and commercial and retail floor space at Dover's Corner in Rainham, Essex, has been approved by Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The local authority, Havering Council, is considering a legal challenge to the SoS‘s stance, which was in line with the recommendation of the inspector who held an inquiry into the proposals last year.

Developers Weston Homes (Housing) Ltd had appealed against the non-determination of their plans by the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation, currently being wound down.

The council opposed the scheme as inappropriate for Rainham. The local authority said it did not fit in with the historical setting of the village.

In the decision letter the minister agreed with the inspector that the proposal would provide much-needed residential development, including affordable housing, in a sustainable location.

“It would also deliver public amenity and ecological benefits through the creation of a creek-side park and the de-culverting of the Pooles Sewer. The proposal would preserve the character and appearance of the conservation area and would not affect the setting of listed buildings. It would not have an unacceptable impact on the surrounding area,” the minister said.

Councillor Michael Armstrong, the council cabinet member with special responsibility for Rainham, said: "This was the wrong decision for Rainham. The development was completely inappropriate and does not fit in with the historical setting of Rainham. We want Rainham's unique character to be protected and maintained and will be looking in detail at the decision to see if legal action may be justified."

Download the decision letter and Inspector’s report.


Roger Milne

3 February 2011