Area one: New bench for Nutter Lane Recreation Ground

Residents’ calls for a bench in Nutter Lane Recreation Ground were finally answered by the area committee one last night, ending a three-year struggle.

Counties Residents’ Association committee member Malcolm Dowers, 41, of Leicester Road, asked the committee at Wanstead Church School, Church Path, to listen to 327 out of 750 people who had answered a council questionnaire saying they wanted seating to be installed in the field.

Councillor Sue Nolan (Conservative, Snaresbrook) believed seating in the field - known by residents as “Buttercup Field” - would lead to loitering or anti-social behaviour.

However, Cllr Michelle Dunn (Con, Wanstead) responded: “I recommend that we fund a bench and we put on a community event [to plant trees] and get everyone down there.”

Of those who had responded to the questionnaire, 348 - or 36 per cent - had asked for additional tree planting.

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Speaking to the Recorder after the meeting, Mr Dowers said he felt “relief” when the decision was announced.

He said: “This shows democracy is finally in action. I am happy where we are now.

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“The decision did seem to be swaying away from us, so thanks to Cllr Dunn for her support.”

Cllr Nolan again reiterated her fears about anti-social behaviour afterwards, but said she was determined to “make it something for everyone”.

She said: “It is not very well lit so we are trying to get that improved.

“It just worries us that it could be an area where the children could gather there, not saying they shouldn’t, they could be doing something perfect innocently.

“We will try it with one bench and see what happens.

“It is not really a recreation area it is just a bit of open land surrounded by a bit of fencing - it is really a nothing place.”

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