Ilford shopkeepers call for park to be reopened, despite claims it attracted anti-social behaviour

Business owners outside the closed-off park

Business owners outside the closed-off park - Credit: Archant

A park which was a magnet for anti-social behaviour should be open in the daytime for families, according to a business leader.

Khalid Hussain, chairman of the South Ilford Business Partnership, says the open space at the Norman Road junction of Ilford Lane, Ilford, should be reopened.

The area was fenced off earlier this year after complaints from residents about problems including drinking and loud music at night.

A retrospective planning application has been put in for the fence which is being publicised on the Redbridge Council website until tomorrow.

Mr Hussain says that since the area was closed, shop owners have been contacting him to say that people are now congregating outside their premises, which is harming business.

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Mr Hussain said: “The pavement is becoming a no-go area and people cannot walk along or go into the shops. They’re really obstructing people passing by.

“It’s affecting trade terribly and as the weather gets better it’s only going to get worse.”

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He said people who live in flats or bedsits do not have an outside space, so they use the park during the day, meaning it should only be locked at night.

Mr Hussain added: “If it’s becoming a problem at night and they cannot manage to lock it, then we can always arrange for shopkeepers to lock it up.”

Cllr Filly Maravala campaigned to have the area fenced off after numerous complaints from residents.

He said: “There are hundreds of residents who are affected and I’m afraid that their concerns must be addressed.

“There was flytipping in the area and lots of noise and loud music at night.”

Cllr Maravala said he had not taken his decision over the fence lightly, having previously campaigned for new benches and an overhaul of the area.

“It breaks my heart to have it closed off. It was not a whimsical decision,” he insisted.

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