Redbridge Cabinet agrees 35-year lease of Goodmayes Park Extension to Barking football club

Residents previously raised opposition to the lease of Goodmayes Park Extension

Residents previously raised opposition to the lease of Goodmayes Park Extension - Credit: Archant

A 35-year lease of the Goodmayes Park Extension to a Barking football club was agreed by Redbridge Council’s cabinet on Tuesday night.

The Singh Sabha Football Club (SSFC) is planning a “centre of excellence” for sports and a “state of the art” clubhouse with the council making savings on maintenance and agreeing a peppercorn rent in exchange.

The proposal for the 10 hectares site in Goodmayes Lane drew 69 objections from members of the public during a consultation, and two speakers raised their concerns with the cabinet at Redbridge Town Hall in High Road, Ilford.

Andrew Cook said: “We’re told the extension will remain as a green open space and the public will continue to have access to it.

“We’re told there will not be massive development.

“It’s about as reassuring as White Star Line telling us the Titanic won’t sink.”

And Richard Leighton said: “I still hope sense will prevail and the lease is not granted.”

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The council report to the cabinet members said the lease will mean the land can still be used by the public with the same opening hours as now.

It also argued that SSFC has better opportunity to attract external funding and it will allow for other sports apart from football to be played.

It said: “The SSFC business case is a realistic option of investing in and developing the facilities for the use of the whole community.”

There are currently five football pitches and a mini-soccer pitch at the site and two blocks of changing rooms.

The club’s plans are likely to include a full-size astro-turf football pitch and development of the existing pavilions and playing surfaces.

A petition signed by 1,126 people supported the lease.

Vision Redbridge, the council’s leisure arm, was losing £17,710 a year after maintenance costs and booking receipts.

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