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Redbridge parks still closed for damage checks after storm St Jude

PUBLISHED: 10:38 06 November 2013 | UPDATED: 10:38 06 November 2013

Seven Kings Park was closed for more than a week after storm St Jude. Photo: Suhail Patel

Seven Kings Park was closed for more than a week after storm St Jude. Photo: Suhail Patel

Archant

Redbridge parks are still closed because of storm damage more than a week after St Jude battered the borough.

All parks were closed for a second time by Redbridge Council on October 30 so the stability of trees after the gale force winds could be assessed.

Many reopened on Monday after the storm passed and debris was cleared but the public are not being allowed in “as a precaution” until checks are finished.

Nine parks, including Valentines Park, Redbridge Recreation Ground and Hainault Forest Country Park are still shut off.

Tree surgeons are looking for unstable branches and trees that could still be a danger.

Commenting on Streetlife, Diana N said families, dog walkers and cafe owners were affected by the closure of Valentines Park in Ilford.

She added: “I can understand that there are health and safety issues, although it was opened the day after the storm and as far as I am aware there were no problems.

“In 1987 after the Great Storm, which resulted in truly massive damage, the park was open almost immediately.”

More than 100 trees were blown down, along with walls, roofs and even a gazebo in high winds overnight on October 28.

The parks will reopen one by one when inspections are finished.

A Redbridge Council spokesman said most will be open by the end of the week and safety was of “paramount importance.”

He added: “Following the storms, several areas that were deemed unsafe were cordoned off but it was reported that on occasions the cordons were being ignored.

“As a precaution all parks were then closed until inspections could be carried out and works completed.”

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