Saturday, 18 December 2021

The Developer's Gravy Train Hits The Buffers...

Plans to buy land for new homes around the controversial Beam Park development and in Rainham have been dropped.
After receiving legal advice and consulting with the planning inspectorate, on December 2 Havering Council decided to withdraw the compulsory purchase order (CPO) it initially made in 2019.

And it all revoles around that important - and often missing - element: infrastructure. Or rather, the lack of it. 

Last month, the council asked the inspectorate to delay the CPO inquiry while the Greater London Authority (GLA) and Department for Transport (DfT) discussed the future of Beam Park Station, which has remained uncertain since September 2021.
However, the planning inspectorate recommended the CPO be dropped until a decision around the proposed station has been made.

Without a nearby station, who'd buy a home there? Given that the GLA and TfL are so hostile to drivers, you'd be mad to, especially if you worked in London. 

Beam Park station was initially included in the council’s 2016 Local Plan before being taken over in 2018 by the GLA, which picked two developers to build up to 9,000 homes around it.
In September, Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas wrote to the DfT seeking assurance after hearing rumours the station had been axed.
On October 6, transport minister Chris Heaton-Harris informed him the department had never given support for the station.


Mr Heaton-Harris has claimed the GLA were told as early as 2017 the business case for the station was “very poor” and the department had made it clear it would not approve the station unless it was held immune “in perpetuity” from financial risk relating to the project.

It's always wise to follow the money, isn't it? 

A spokesperson for the DfT reiterated its position on immunity from financial risk but said it fully supported the housing development in Beam Park.
They said the financial offer proposed by the GLA did not cover the full risk the department believes Beam Park station imports, particularly around operating loss forecasts and revenue abstraction from neighbouring stations.

In other words, they don't think it'll be used enough to justify the build. And that's - presumably - before the covid effect on changing work patterns. 

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