While many districts in London would be happy to welcome a new supermarket to their area, residents in Highams Park have been fighting council planners for years to prevent a large Tesco store and a large development from being built. While the planning process started in 2005 and was initially refused in 2007, revised planning applications were submitted in 2009 and existing residents in the London Borough of Redbridge properties online were not happy. While the new development would create new housing for people in Highams Park, new employment opportunities, and add to the economy, residents believe that this development is more of a curse than it is a blessing.
What Would the New Tesco Development Bring?
The supermarket giant Tesco has revised its plans and submitted these new plans to council planners in hopes of having the plans passed this time. The new plan shows that the supermarket giant wants to build a store that will run 24 hours a day, more than 253 homes, an underground car park for customers and residents, new shops, and industrial space that will be rented on Larkshall Road.
Why Residents Are Against the New Tesco Development
All of the shops, homes, and jobs that will be created by the new development sound like a good thing to an outsider looking in. Unfortunately for council planners and for the supermarket giant, Highams Park residents are not happy with the idea of this development project being approved. They have voiced their concerns for years, and continue to voice their concerns on what the development will do to current housing and the current educational system. Here are just some of the concerns that residents that have lived in Redbridge for quite some time are voicing:
* An Influx of New Students
With new homes and new jobs will come new families and new students. The public schooling system is not prepared to deal with an influx of new students and this may affect the system that is currently in place. As soon as the development is completed, at least 400 new students will enter the public schooling system.
With more residents and a store located in a central location, residents will have to deal with more traffic. The views may also be blocked and current residents may lose their privacy around the development.
While some of the concerns are legitimate, Tesco has proposed a resolution to many of them. Council planners have recommended that Tesco contribute to expanding schools in the area to combat the schooling argument. They have also recommended improving public roads around the area and contributing to healthcare costs that will certainly rise because of the growing population.
While the previous application was denied by the local government, the new plans may be passed sometime in the future. Hopefully, for Highams Park residents who want to keep the historical elements in the district, the new plans will satisfy everyone before a deal is reached. If the proper deal is met, the new development could actually benefit Highams Park and Redbridge.