Campaigners fighting to save Hainault green spaces raise thousands to help pay legal fees
PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 May 2019 | UPDATED: 14:32 22 May 2019
Campaigners fighting to stop houses from being built on a well-loved Hainault park have received hundreds of donations to help pay for their legal fees.
Redbridge Council's planning committee gave the go-ahead last month to plans to build 60 units of prefabricated modular housing in Woodman Road park, near Manford Way, for 10 years.
A total of 1,224 representations against the scheme were submitted from 728 addresses.
A campaign group made up of residents has been set up with the shared aim of saving green spaces in the Hainault area by overturning the planning decision to build modular housing on "valued park areas".
The group, represented by 15 committee members, has now served the council with a letter outlining its legal case. In response, the council will state whether it intends to withdraw the plans and revoke the decision or not.
The group accuses the council of not taking local plan policies into consideration, "insufficient reasoning" on how it reached a decision and inadequate consultation with a nearby care home.
If the council decides not to revoke the decision, the campaign group said it will instruct its solicitor to issue the application for a judicial review, which will be dealt with by the High Court.
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A statement on the group's GoFundMe page says: "We need money in order to fight this as legal fees do not come cheap. Can you help us raise funds for this legal challenge and other ancillary costs to help us fight the council for our park for the future?"
So far, hundreds have donated to the cause, raising more than £7,500 of the £20,000 target.
A community walk has also been arranged from Manford Way park to Hainault Country Park on June 2 to highlight the distance that the elderly, disabled and young would have to walk to reach their nearest green space.
Campaigners will be filming the event, which starts at 11am.
"It's not just about raising money, it's about raising awareness and it proves how strongly the community feels about this," campaigner Ashley Papworth said.
"Redbridge Council think it's acceptable to build on our local park because they say we can go to Hainault Country Park instead."
A council spokesman said: "The council has received this letter, are currently considering it and will respond accordingly."
The fundraising page can be found here: www.gofundme.com/save-our-green-space.