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Havering Council backtracks on plans to build homes in Beam Park

People living in Beam Park were told a train station would be built in the area

Havering Council has backtracked on plans to build new homes in Beam Park. 

The council has withdrawn a compulsory purchase order (CPO) that would have allowed it to buy and redevelop land in the area.

A council spokesperson said it had been given legal advice to drop the plans until it was clear if Beam Park station would be built.

Plans to deliver the train station were first adopted by former Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, in 2015 as part of his London Riverside scheme.

Havering Council also said the station would support at least 3,000 homes in its 2016 Local Plan and the Greater London Authority took responsibility for delivering the station in 2018. 

As a result, many homes have already been built in the area based on the belief the station would be delivered. 

However, transport minister Chris Heaton-Harris unexpectedly revealed the government had never supported the scheme in October 2021. 

Havering Council said the Department for Transport’s “unforeseeable” decision had a “severe impact” on their plans and it would have to delay its planned regeneration of Beam Park. 

New Road may no longer be redeveloped (Credit: Havering Council)

Another £13 million project, which would have transformed New Road into a linear park, may also not be delivered. 

Transport for London was planning to put £5 million towards the Beam Parkway scheme but its finances have been hit hard by the Covid pandemic. 

“As a borough we need investment in our infrastructure and housing,” said leader of Havering Council, Damian White. 

“We are doing everything we can to get back on track with these schemes because of the opportunity this part of the borough offers to provide homes and jobs for our residents.

“However, every time we think things are moving the right way, like a boxer, we get another knock down and have to pick ourselves up.

“It is time they focused on outer London boroughs like us, rather than the more wealthy inner London boroughs.”

Cllr Damian White said they are trying to get the schemes “back on track”

Havering’s Residents Associations said the decision to withdraw, rather than suspend the CPO, was a bitter blow to the regeneration of New Road. 

A spokesperson said “while the decision to not approve the station was the government’s, the financial situation the council is now in is largely of their own making”. 

Councillor Graham Williamson added: “The council gambled that the station would be approved as it would increase built property values and thus attract developers.

“They never however admitted this and were happy to approve planning applications knowing full well the station was not guaranteed.” 

Leader of the opposition, councillor Ray Morgan, said: “Not only is the New Road regeneration in jeopardy and a Plan B likely necessary, council finances will take a hit both in costs and loss of planned for profits.

“Frankly, they only have themselves to blame and should have ‘locked in’ the station before approving planning applications. Havering Council’s initial lack of due diligence around the robustness of delivering a station, must not be overlooked.”

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