Community group's delight after Loxford Park pavilion saved

The Loxford & Clementswood Residents Association was awarded the Mayor's Special Award and the Neigh

The Loxford Park pavilion, which was at risk of being extended to accommodate a preschool, is no longer at threat after Redbridge Council postponed the consultation to relocate a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU). - Credit: Loxford Gardeners

A park pavilion has been saved after a consultation to relocate a pupil referral service was postponed.

The Loxford Park pavilion was under threat over plans for a 100sq m extension to transfer the Loxford First Step Preschool there.

The extension was proposed in order to relocate the Constance Bridgeman Centre Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) to the Loxford Youth Centre, which currently houses the preschool.

The Loxford and Clementswood Residents Association (LCRA), a community group of gardeners who have tended to the park throughout lockdown, raised concerns that an extension to the pavilion would destroy their green space.

Redbridge Council said they would postpone the relocation of the PRU so that the "fantastic work" done by LCRA and the Friends of Loxford community group would not be threatened.

The council has an obligation to relocate the PRU from its current site at the New City College Redbridge campus, as its lease expires on July 1. 

A council spokesperson confirmed the Loxford Park pavilion is "no longer an option" for the preschool and amendments would be made to the proposals.

They said: “A consultation related to the relocation of the Constance Bridgeman Alternative Provision Centre from New City College is being postponed.

“While we will meet the needs of current and future students at Constance Bridgeman, one of the proposals - although well intentioned - was not sanctioned to proceed.

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"This proposal could negatively impact on the fantastic work done by the Loxford and Clementswood Residents Association and park users group, which was never our intention. Therefore, it is no longer an option.

“We will make changes before any further consultation is published to meet the needs of our children and young people in accessing vital supportive education and youth services.”

LCRA said it was delighted by the decision and look forward to continuing its work.

Council leader Jas Athwal toured the grounds on Thursday, April 22 and called it "a hidden gem" in Loxford Park.

"Seeing the work they're doing is truly inspiring and shows just what a local community can achieve."

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