Some more good news from the ‘behind the scenes’ work being done by the River Roding Trust.

Ecoworld 'development' thwarted

Some of you may recall the development ( proposed on the Tesco site adjoining the river in Barking. We had a close look at the plans and realised that despite promising a lot, there were very few improvements to the river, one of they key promises of a ‘new’ riverside walkway was essentially a lie and, most concerningly, it looked like all of the beautiful mature trees along this stretch of river were to be destroyed.

The attitude of the River Roding Trust to development is clear: whilst we support the building of new homes in the borough, any building along the river must retain and enhance existing trees, nature and green space. It must also improve the interaction of the land and the river, for local the local community and for wildlife.

We felt that the development on the Tesco site was poor on all of these grounds and we told the developer so at a meeting we arranged with them. We suggested numerous ways that the development could interact with the river better. More importantly, we expressed our view that the loss of all of the mature trees along this section of the river (the only such grouping of mature trees alongside the river in central Barking) was completely unacceptable. We set out to the developer that whilst we would like to work with them to improve their plans, we would fight any proposal to remove the trees tooth and nail, starting with local petitions and campaigning, then through the planning protest and then through peaceful protest and campaigning even if planning permission were given.

I’m glad to report that we have now received news that the developer is withdrawing their proposals and does not intend to submit them to planning. So, for the time being the trees are safe! Whilst this does not mean they are safe for good, it’s worth celebrating this victory and hoping that the developer does the right thing and comes back with amended plans that respect nature and provide a more beautiful and improved riverside space for the people of barking.

Below are a photo of the sterile cgi of the developers proposal, versus the lush green trees currently on the site.