The residents of the Dovers Farm estate in South Hornchurch have fought a long battle to stop the green in the middle of their neighbourhood being built over for housing. The estate was built in the 1950s and the green was planned into the development to provide recreational space for the residents. It is a well used and loved asset with a fair few community organised events taking place there during the summer months. These events help maintain community spirit.

All of this didn’t matter to the Tory run Havering Council when back in August, the planning committee voted to build over it. The letter to the Romford Recorder shown above eloquently speaks about the way concerns of residents in working class communities are steamrollered over by a planning system that will not take into account anything outside of “material planning consideration”. Any discussion of the social benefits of the green at Dovers Farm fell outside of the remit of the planning system.

Yet again, this is more evidence that the planning system and the structure of local and national government that informs that system is simply not fit for purpose.