Barkingside residents rallying against Olympic car park on playing fields
Residents in Barkingside are rallying against plans for a temporary Olympic car park on playing fields.
Redbridge Council is offering the fields by Starch House Lane to private bidders to run during the Games.
The area is currently used for playing football, dog-walking and recreation.
The Shield Academy Football Club also uses the field for training.
Starch House Lane resident Chris Thomas, 29, has started a petition against the proposal.
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He said: “The field isn’t designed for this and the road certainly isn’t made to have 500-plus cars a day coming along it.
“We have been offered no compensation for increased traffic flow on a road that already can’t handle it.
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“I don’t think it’s really acceptable.”
The residents were sent a letter form Redbridge Council outlining the plans at the end of June.
It claimed the car park aimed to improve field security by preventing trespassing on the site, which is near Barkingside and Fairlop stations.
Cllr Edward Weinberg is the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, which runs the fields.
He said: “It will bring in some money but half of it will go into the central pot and half to the residents through the area committee.
“I’m pretty sure the residents would rather have an organised car park than all the mess illegal campers bring.
“There is a ‘perhaps’ but I’m a big fan of prevention rather than cure.”
A council spokesman said the car park will be in place from July 27 to August 10.
He added: “These playing fields are private fields which are used by several local schools and leased to local groups.
“This field should not be used by members of the public unless it is leased through the council.
“As the car park will only be in place for less than 28 days there is no legal requirement for the council to consult as planning permission not required.”
He said the winning bidder must provide traffic plans and will be expected to keep residents informed about the operation.