South Park group edges towards transformation of basketball court with area committee support

The South Park Users group are campaigning for a new sports facility in South Park,

The South Park Users group are campaigning for a new sports facility in South Park, - Credit: Archant

One man came a step closer to achieving his ambition of creating a new multipurpose games area in South Park, after he received funding for a planning application last night.

Tony Hoad, secretary of the South Park Users Group, was given £195 to submit the application to transform the basketball court in the park in South Park Drive, Ilford.

He wants to install new fencing and make the area suitable for playing netball, basketball and football among other games.

He said: “We have had a very dilapidated basketball court for the last 20 years.

“There are no other facilities like it in the south of Ilford – there’s nothing in this area at all. It’s used regularly by young people.”

The funding was granted at the area six committee meeting held at Redbridge Central Library, Clements Road, Ilford.

Mr Hoad said he has already undertaken a survey of pupils at the Isaac Newton Academy, Cricklefield Place, Ilford and is now going through the results.

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“We’ve had more than 100 responses, lots of the kids were very positive,” Mr Hoad said.

“We also sent 300 surveys a week ago to people living around the park. Finally we want to talk to the people who use is. We want it to be supported locally.”

Mr Hoad has already had plans drawn up and estimates for how much the new facility would cost and is looking at different avenues for funding.

He said: “It’s worth pursuing as the Olympics happened only a few miles away and you hear about improving people’s heath and wellbeing. Anything we can do to improve the area is well worth doing.”

At the meeting there was some concern whether the area committee’s funding could be used for a planning application. However, the application went through with no opposition with Cllr Jas Atwal adding: “I think we need to think outside the box. I cannot go against someone who wants to do so much good.”