Report and appendix attached.
At the request of a Member, the Sub-Committee received a report on the Romford Town Centre Masterplan project.
The report provided a summary of work undertaken to date in respect of the Town Centre Masterplan project that was commissioned in October 2018 to deliver a comprehensive, design-led development framework for Romford.
It was noted that the objective of the project was to develop a masterplan that would guide and facilitate Romford’s future growth appropriately and sustainably, building on its unique characteristics to deliver a high quality, cohesive and vibrant town centre for Havering.
The Sub-Committee was informed that the intention was to adopt the masterplan document as formal planning policy so that it becomes a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). The SPD would form part of a suite of sub-policies under the Boroughs Local Plan (LP) when this is adopted in 2020. The Council’s Local Plan had been submitted to the Secretary of State.
The Sub-Committee noted that consultation on the planning Inspector’s proposed modifications to the Local Plan would take place in early 2020.
The aim of the masterplan was to provide a vision for Romford which was supported by detailed guidance that enables opportunities to be realised so that that Romford retains its strategic role within Havering, North East London and Essex.
Members noted that it was the intention that the masterplan sets out a vision for the period up to 2041.
The Sub-Committee was informed of the following emerging draft vision for Romford:
Romford would be a mixed and vibrant regional Town Centre with a distinct character. It would consist of a refined retail offer complimented by a rejuvenated market, with a focus on local goods and services, maintaining its role as a major leisure destination, with an enlarged employment offer, an early evening food and beverage offer and new residential community.
The masterplan vision was supported by 8 interrelated objectives. These objectives were supported by strategies to provide guidance on how to turn the objectives in to good growth and deliver the social infrastructure that was needed to support growth.
The Sub-Committee was informed that the masterplan team has also engaged the following partners and stakeholders to inform the development of the masterplan:
- Land owners
- Prospective developers
- Business representatives
- Council departments.
- Sub regional & statutory agencies – GLA, TfL, Environment Agency
- Havering’s Quality Review Panel (QRP) - a professional peer review panel led by independent architects/design professionals to critically review the design principals and emerging proposals.
Members were informed that the council was currently involved in two joint venture partnerships to deliver borough-wide regeneration and high-quality housing for local people.
The Sub-Committee noted the following next steps and associated timescales for completing the project:
- Completion of internal Council consultation on draft SPD – November 2019
- Review workshops with Leader and Members – January 2020
- Cabinet approval for statutory consultation – April 2020
- Review of feedback/update SPD – May 2020
- Adoption of Romford Masterplan SPD*- June 2020
Members were encouraged to take the opportunity of the current consultation to be involved as it offered a chance to influence the vision for the Romford Masterplan.
The Sub-Committee was informed that an all Member briefing was planned for the future including an opportunity for a walkabout on one of the sites.
The Sub-Committee noted the content of the report.