Real Snaresbrook

shadowBecause of the site’s elevation, campaigners say a six-storey block will tower above neighbouring houses

Liz Calvert is one of many residents who will be living in the shadow of the blocks of flats proposed for Snaresbrook Station car park. The Real Snaresbrook campaign believes the community deserves better

In August, a scattering of residents from The Rise and Hollybush Close (cul-de-sacs off Hollybush Hill) were advised by a flyer that Snaresbrook Station car park was being sold by TfL and that a company called Pocket Living had plans to build affordable homes there. For a few of us, our gardens abut the car park; for the remainder, they are in close proximity. 

On discussion, we all came to the same conclusion: we aren’t anti-affordable living – how could you be? – but the plans astounded us. The proposals are for two adjoining blocks of flats of five and six storeys. They will tower over our streets: these buildings will be seen from Hollybush Hill and from the High Street. Our concerns are as follows:

The ”pretty pedestrian walkway” as described in the plans will also accommodate the route for goods and emergency vehicles to access the engineering depot and the railway line, creating a dangerous mixed-use zone.

The car park is prone to flooding and this has never, to our knowledge, been resolved. How will it cope with 74 new dwellings using the drainage system?

Pocket Living do not accommodate for car ownership (they will supply bicycle storage). Pocket Living has advised that Redbridge Council will not supply their residents with parking permits, so where will those cars go? The streets around Hollybush Hill are for permit holders only, and the car park will have room for only a few.

The trees – covered by Tree Protection Orders – and the flower beds will all incur damage or be lost completely.

Our main concern is for the emergency services and their ability to access the flats. The turn at the station is tight and the road is regularly blocked.

So, we have organised ourselves. We have a residents’ WhatsApp group, we are in discussion with local councillors and we have knocked door to door and spoken to other residents – not one was in favour of this. We also have a petition and one of our members has created a website. 

To sum up, we don’t want our privacy invaded; elderly and disabled neighbours are fretting already about the noise and the impact. The possible new residents deserve much more than these boxes; they need safety too. Lower blocks, two or three storeys, or a row of terraced houses would be better, but we were advised those won’t make the company enough profit. We sincerely hope these existing plans are shelved.

For more information on the development proposal, visit wnstd.com/pocketliving

For information on the Real Snaresbrook campaign, visit realsnaresbrook.org

Author: Editor