Tag: Cosgrave Property Group

Taking a liberty

027libertymirror2.pngRomford’s Liberty Shopping Centre is to be sold by its current owners Cosgrave Property Group (via its Luxemburg-based arm Romford Investment Holding SARL) to Western Ridge Ltd, according to recent press reports.   Why should we care about a shopping mall changing hands?  Well a quick look at Western Ridge’s background raises a few concerns about what might be in store for the site.

Romford Civic Society  reports that the firm has a history of buying commercial properties in order to build residential developments above them.   And lo and behold, the property investment website CoStar big-ups the Liberty’s “potential for developing residential on the site”.   Although there is a big demand for new housing in the borough, developments of this sort invariably consist of the pokey studio and one-bedroom variety rather than the family-sized homes most urgently required in Havering – a borough which has several hundred families living in temporary accommodation.

Such a proposal would have got short shrift by Havering’s councillors in the not-too-distant past.  But not anymore.    Under pressure to meet housing targets from both the Tory government and Labour Mayor,  Havering’s Conservatives seem to have forgotten their election pledge to ‘Keep Havering Special’ –  as was made very clear to the Dovers Farm campaigners recently.  Watch this space…