Olympic hotel firm seeking permission to remove Hainault park turf

Major planning changes have been sought for an ancient woodland currently housing 4,000 Olympic security staff that would include the removal of the turf.

Temporary housing company Snoozebox, stationed at Hainault Forest Country Park, Fox Burrow Road, Hainault until October 1, is seeking permission from Redbridge Council to make significant changes to its original planning application.

The firm, which has been working on the site since June and is providing accommodation for Olympic and Paralympic security staff, has asked to amend its planning, design and access statement, but no decision has yet been made.

The amendment includes the storage of topsoil which would be removed to create a temporary access road around the site.

Snoozebox would remain responsible for regularly watering the turf to prevent it drying out so it can be reused as part of the restoration project.

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The 5.5metre-wide road will run along the internal perimeter to provide access to service the site during both construction and deconstruction, and for maintenance vehicles carrying out essential servicing.

The company also want to install a temporary water supply connection from the existing water main located in Romford Road.

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This would mean excavations of the parkland and the installation of about 200 metres of water main and an under-pressure connection.

Michael Trump, of Anne Way, Hainault, who uses Hainault Forest Country Park every day, said: “I think its totally wrong that Snoozebox didn’t adhere to their original plans and the work that is going on at the park just isn’t right.

“The amount of heavy vehicles passing through has meant that the original rubber roadways haven’t been enough. It’s absolutely unbelievable how different it is now.”

One resident, of Doves Cottages, Chigwell, added in an objection letter to the council: “The local residents were not properly considered before this work began. Allowing the forest that we live beside to be used in this manner without proper consultation is totally unfair.”

The original plans stated that Snoozebox would need two fields and two car parks to house 250 containers.

A Snoozebox spokesman said: “We need the new road to allow two-way traffic and a temporary water supply will negate the need to import water thereby reducing traffic. These changes are required to meet the current logistical needs for G4S and the MoD.”

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