Opening of Better Barkingside ‘pocket park’ delayed by asbestos find

The opening of the new “pocket park” in Barkingside has been delayed by the discovery of asbestos during building work.

The park is part of the Better Barkingside regeneration scheme and was due to open around Easter.

But builders breaking up the disused sun deck in Virginia Gardens unearthed asbestos, delaying work.

Speaking at last week’s area committee three meeting, Cllr Nick Hayes (Fullwell, Cons) said: “The concrete in the sundeck was even more difficult to get rid of than previously thought.

“If things are taking longer for safety so be it – it’s something we should be welcoming, not denigrating.”

Councillors now expect the park to open in the summer.

The sun deck was part of Fullwell Cross Leisure Centre but fell out of use and has since been labelled an “eyesore”.

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The 2.1million Better Barkingside project will see major changes to High Street, including a new town square and improvements to lighting, street furniture, planting and parking.

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