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Waste site in Hornchurch causes uproar

WORK beginning on a controversial scheme which will see a waste site extended at Hornchurch Country Park has led one local MP to accuse Havering Council of ‘overlooking’ residents.

Local people, along with Independent Resident’s Group councillor for South Hornchurch Michael Deon-Burton and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas, are up in arms over the plans from landscaping company Ingrebourne Valley Ltd to extend Ingrebourne Hill so it links up with the country park.

The land was purchased from Havering Council in late 2011, and the decision has caused uproar locally with Cllr Deon-Burton labelling the situation “parkgate” and insisting the site will be used to dump “toxic waste”.

A spokesperson for Havering Council denied his claims, saying “there is definitely no toxic waste involved.” They continued: “The planned restoration work will link the existing Ingrebourne Hill with Hornchurch Country Park by extending the hill northwards towards Albyns Farm. Once the extension is finished, the land will be planted so that it fits in with the surrounding environment and be a great place for visitors and wildlife.

“This is not a landfill scheme. The hill will be extended using inert material only and will provide a more interesting long term leisure environment for residents. There will be no loss of park land.

“This is a big project, and if planning permission is agreed, traffic management plans will be an essential part of any scheme approval.”
Inert material is waste that is not chemically or biologically reactive and will not decompose such as sand and concrete.

The Council has said the land and material will be managed by The Forestry Commission under license from the Environment Agency, in much the same way the existing hill was built up.

Mr Cruddas said: “I have been contacted by many residents now that work has started on the site and I will be raising these concerns with the Council and Ingrebourne Valley Ltd, the company responsible for extending several of these sites across Havering.

“I can’t say I’m surprised that the works are being pushed through just a week after the local elections. Despite the local protest against the plans in 2012, it seems that the residents have been overlooked again by Havering Council.

“Moving forward all we can do is ensure that site meets all necessary guidelines and does not impact upon the rest of the park, or the surrounding area. I will be doing all I can to hold the council to account and address any issues or concerns raised about the site in the coming weeks and months.”