‘We want to bring Kew Gardens to Ilford’ –big plans for pocket parks in Norman Road and Mayville Road
PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 March 2016
A small charity has big plans to transform two urban spaces, which have become magnets for anti-social behaviour, into “beautiful” pocket parks.
Redbridge Equalities and Community Council (RECC) has launched a crowdfunding project and is appealing to residents to help raise money to do something with the unloved areas in Norman Road and Mayville Road, Ilford.
“We want to bring Kew Gardens to Ilford,” said Cecelia Rufus, RECC project co-ordinator
“Somewhere beautiful for people to relax that takes them away from their problems,”
After asking residents what they envision for the sites the group plan to install a children’s play area, a museum wall of local history and a green stage for open air performances.
The RECC have already raised some money through a musical event, and is appealing for volunteers and businesses to come forward and help with anything from landscaping and funding to design and maintenance.
The Norman Road space was previously cordoned off due to anti-social behaviour and the council agreed to look at reopening it in the future - a task they never got round to doing.
Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal said he wanted to “resurrect” the topic and promised to email relevant parties to get the ball rolling.
“I am a resident and I don’t want to see this space permanently closed just because it was ruined by a small group of people – if we did that the whole of Redbridge would be shut,” he said.
“When anybody makes a proposal we need to go through the right procedures, we need to look at it again and I need to see the proposal.”
At a local forum in February at Uphall Primary School, Uphall Road, Ilford, residents asked what was happening with the space and panellist Ch Insp John Fish warned if it reopened, neighbors have to accept that all members of the public will be able to use it.
“We cannot arrest people unless they break the law and congregating there and being loud is not an offence,” he said.