For decades, Redbridge has promised its residents a great quality of life. We have high performing schools, relatively affordable housing, green space and strong communities. From east end working class communities leaving the inner city, to Punjabi or Romanian families traversing continents in search of a new life, we have always welcomed new communities to a Borough where they can find opportunity and safety.
Our challenges are clear. Redbridge’s population has grown and changed substantially over the past few decades. It is projected to rise by up to 60,000 over the coming decade as Crossrail brings new residents into Ilford and its surrounding neighbourhoods. This makes us the fourth fastest growing part of the country, as well as the fourth most diverse London Borough.
Over the past decades, we have not always succeeded in adapting to change. As our population grew, we did not build enough new homes to accommodate our new residents. Our Borough has become polarised between a wealthier north and west and a poorer south and east. The ability of our public services to respond to these challenges in traditional ways is increasingly constrained by austerity.
As neighbouring Boroughs build new infrastructure and retail facilities, and the economy changes, we need to rise to the challenge of reimagining our Borough for a new century.
Redbridge is a great place to live, but we know it can be better.
The Borough’s great opportunity lies in regeneration. By 2030, we aim to build over 17,500 new homes, generate 5,000 jobs and create the opportunity for a new leisure and cultural offer, alongside new community facilities. We need to seize this opportunity and ensure it delivers tangible benefits for the communities of today as well as the residents of tomorrow.
Regeneration is about much more than bricks and mortar. It is about strengthening our communities and ensuring that they have a stake in our new high streets. It is about designing places that improve health and reduce crime, and capturing the financial benefits of new development to provide imaginative support and dignity to our older and disabled residents. It is about building green, safe, sustainable places and encouraging the creativity of our residents so they can make the most of the change around them.
Ultimately, it is about including everyone in the next chapter of our story.
Over the past year, we have worked with our residents to understand what the future of Redbridge might be like. Our conclusion is that Redbridge communities recognise the need for change, but only if it clearly benefits our existing residents and preserves the things they value. That means we need to grow our communities and our people alongside our economy and housing stock.