Havering Council’s Cabinet agree plans for major regeneration in the heart of Romford town centre

Artist impression
Artist impression of the proposed development of Bridge Close and improvements to the River Rom.
Published: Thursday, 16 November 2017

Havering Council Cabinet Members agreed proposals to transform the Bridge Close site in the centre of Romford.

This is part of an ambitious plan that is hoped will be a “catalyst” for regeneration across the Town Centre.

Members agreed to enter into a Joint Venture with Savills Investment Management and First Base, to facilitate the redevelopment of the Bridge Close site. The funding for the scheme will now be subject to approval at a meeting of the full council on Wednesday 21 February 2018.

Cabinet Members considered proposals to create a new residential-led development – of which at least 30 per cent of homes would be affordable – and would include local workspace, a primary school and community and health facilities.

Other proposed improvements included a new pedestrian bridge over the River Rom to the station and environmental enhancements to the river to make a new greener space at the centre of the community that will provide a focal point for recreation and increase biodiversity.

In addition, and linked to the regeneration of the area, the intention is to include improvements to the ring road to calm traffic and make access into the town centre and new Crossrail station at Romford easier. Feasibility work is also underway to identify the best ways to improve accessibility between the north and south of the railway line.

Councillor Roger Ramsey, Leader of the Council and lead member for regeneration, said:

“This is an important and exciting project that will change the face of the town centre in Romford.

“Communities, opportunities and connections are central to the place we want to create, and key to our vision and ambition for Romford and the rest of the borough. Being part of a Joint Venture as an equal partner would give us control over the development, and allow us to ensure it is of the highest quality and fits with the expectations of our people. This is absolutely crucial for us.”

The long-term aspiration is that the Council will be fully involved in the development options for the scheme and in the on-going management of the key infrastructure for the new community. 

Councillor Ramsey added: “We have been working on these proposals for some time now and providing key infrastructure, such as education and health facilities has been central to this. We have a growing population, and lots of people who want to stay in the borough but feel they have limited options in terms of affordability and social amenities. A scheme like this would be ideal for them.

“Not to mention, we know people are frustrated by seeing half-built buildings in the Town Centre. We’re often asked about these, and it simply isn’t possible to address everything at once. But we hope that this scheme will act as a catalyst for change, and encourage other developers to consider working here to correct some of these long-standing eyesores in our town centre.”