Park land sale creates anger in Goodmayes

The “cheap sale” of 25 acres of parkland is sparking anger this week, but the football club eyeing up the site is promising to make it a sporting centre of excellence.

Those against the proposals for Goodmayes Park Extension, Goodmayes Lane, Goodmayes, say no proper consultation has been carried out.

Members of Redbridge Council’s cabinet will meet on Tuesday at Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford, where they are expected to sign off on giving a 99-year lease to Singh Sabha Football Club for what it is calling a “peppercorn rent”.

According to council papers, the authority is losing more than �10,000 a year when maintenance costs are deducted from the income it gets from the land.

The extension to the park is currently home to changing rooms, five football pitches and one mini-soccer pitch.

Singh Sabha, which says it has the majority of its 300-plus members living in Redbridge, is planning to make the land its base.

While football will be its focus, it says it hopes to expand into other sports including cricket and hockey.

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But hitting out at the deal, Labour Goodmayes ward Cllr Ali Hai said: “For something so valuable to be given away for hardly anything makes no financial sense.

“It’s a taxpayer asset, yet lots of people in Goodmayes knew nothing about this.”

He added he was willing to give up his yearly councillor allowance of �10,800 to keep the land in public hands.

Members of the Friends of Goodmayes Park are expected to be at Tuesday’s council meeting to make their case to councillors. They had hoped to use the land for a community orchard project and tree planting.

Singh Sabha member Raj Boparai said: “We’re not looking to exclude anyone from using or enjoying the park if we do end up with the land.” He added with numbers having grown the club is looking to branch out into other sports.