Community figures celebrating after Goodmayes Park Extension lease rejected

Cllr Ali Hai (front row, far right) and residents at a previous protest over the park extension's fu

Cllr Ali Hai (front row, far right) and residents at a previous protest over the park extension's future. - Credit: Archant

Community figures who opposed the leasing of the Goodmayes Park Extension to a football club are celebrating after the agreement was rejected.

Singh Sabha Football Club had been granted the lease for 35 years last year, but the decision was overturned by Redbridge’s cabinet after there were disagreements over whether the council or the club would cover legal costs.

Cllr Ali Hai (Con, Goodmayes), who joined residents in campaigning against the lease, said: “We have been fighting for that decision for about four years now.

“It was all really about what the residents wanted to do with the park, so this is good for everyone who has an interest in it.

“It is very satisfying.”

Keith Stanbury, chairman of the Goodmayes Residents’ Association, also said he was pleased.

He said: “I think the decision will allow local groups to consider how the Goodmayes Park Extension should be best used for the whole of the community.

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“A lot of my members believed the lease offer was a precipitous decision.

“There are a number of ideas which have already been put forward by groups and we now need to meet to discuss them.”

Cllr Hai said the Seven Kings and Goodmayes Allotment Society is suggesting the creation of an orchard, while he added that local schools with small playgrounds would like the chance to use the facilities.

He said: “No disrespect to the football club, and I hope they continue to use the park, but football clubs are not designed to operate and maintain a public park.

“This result is what residents wanted. There are many ideas so I hope both the community groups and the council can take these forward positively and create some positive outcomes over the next few months.”

The football club’s chairman declined to comment.

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