Revealed: Plans for major 840-home Romford development go live

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Two major planning applications to transform a Romford business park into an 840-home development and school have been submitted. 

Plans to demolish the Rom Valley Way Retail Park and Seedbed Centre and replace them with a fresh development were proposed in an initial application filed in 2020.  

This was withdrawn in April 2021, after concerns were raised by Havering Council and the Greater London Authority (GLA). 

But a new pre-application for the proposed development came before the council’s strategic planning committee last July, after a public consultation on the updated plans earlier in the year. 

Councillors queried points including the lack of parking spaces, leisure facilities and whether a GP should be included, with the responses taken away by the investment firm Mitheridge as well as Fletcher Priest Architects. 

Two applications have now been submitted by Rom Valley LLP, a joint venture between the real estate investment firm Portland Capital and Mitheridge.

These are the masterplan, covering the construction of the homes, industrial units, retail and café space, a medical facility and works such as landscaping, and another for a school. 

This Is Local London: An outline of the site on Rom Valley WayAn outline of the site on Rom Valley Way (Image: Rom Valley Way LLP)

According to documents filed as part of the applications, a number of changes have been made to the plans since the 2020 submission. 

These include reducing the scale of the buildings, cutting the number of homes from 1,072 to 840, introducing the school, and enhancing the River Rom corridor so that there is a continuous river frontage. 

In terms of housing, the plans propose a housing mix combined of flats and townhouses, with the percentage to be affordable yet to be finalised. 

Of the 840 homes, 20% of them, so 171, are listed as family housing, with 16% three-bed and 4% four-bed. The most common properties will be two-bed, at 45%, with the remaining 35% one-bed. 

In addition to the homes, the development will also include almost 3,000sq m of commercial space, with existing businesses to be relocated within the new site, 200sq m of space for retail, café and restaurant use, plus a new primary school and space for a medical facility, if required. 

The application notes that work will be done improving local amenity spaces, such as creating a forest park, an ecology park and a north-south route connecting pedestrians and cyclists along Rom Valley Way, as well as a partial naturalisation of the River Rom. 

A total of 43 car parking spaces are to be allocated for the site, following an impact assessment of the development on the surrounding transport network, suggesting it will result in a reduction in the number of vehicle trips taken. 

This Is Local London: A visual of what part of the proposed development may look like, with the river corridor in the backgroundA visual of what part of the proposed development may look like, with the river corridor in the background (Image: Rom Valley Way LLP)

Tim Simpson, partner at Mitheridge Capital Management LLP, said: “The planning applications will deliver much needed high-quality new homes, at the same time as upgrading the small business workspace to enable local businesses to thrive long in the future.  

“This comprehensive proposal will also include a new school, a medical centre, affordable housing for local residents and children’s play space. The new buildings will include the use of air source heat pumps and solar panels on roofs.  

“Once complete the site will be far greener than it is currently, with an increase in trees and plants and enhancements to the local biodiversity, including for the River Rom. We look forward to continuing to work with officers from Havering Council in the coming months.” 

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The area around the proposed site is already the focus of several large developments, including the 972-home former Romford Ice Rink scheme opposite the Seedbed Centre which was consented last year, Bridge Close, for which an application is expected later this year, and the Waterloo Estate, which is currently in progress.

If approved, the new development will be constructed over several phases, with work anticipated to begin in early 2024 and completed by 2028. 

View the applications online on Havering Council’s planning portal, using the reference P2072.22 for the masterplan, and P2071.22 for the school. 

How do you feel about the potential developments either approved or being proposed for the area around Rom Valley Way? Let us know your thoughts by emailing [email protected]

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