Plan for Olympic car park on Barkingside playing fields ‘under review’

Plans for a temporary Olympic car park on playing fields in Barkingside are “under review”, with residents hoping they will soon be scrapped altogether.

Redbridge Council was offering the fields by Starch House Lane to private bidders to run during the Games.

The area is currently used for playing football, dog-walking and recreation.

But speaking last night at a meeting of area committee three in Hainault Forest Community Hall, Manford Way, Hainault, Cllr Alex Phillips said: “A factor in this is the relatively small amount of money that will be raised [by the car park].

“I can announce that the decision is under review.

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“We are very close to the Olympics and a further announcement will be made shortly.”

A number of residents from Starch House Lane were at the committee meeting to vent their frustration at the plans for the 500-vehicle car park, which would operate from 7am to 1am the next day during the Games.

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Among them was Chris Thomas, 29, who has started a petition against the proposal.

He said he and neighbours were concerned about the operating hours and the potential safety risk to children living in the road.

Conservative councillor and area committee member Nick Hayes said: “There are all sorts of problems with it.

“Given what we’re getting I feel it’s not viable and not worth the trouble. My personal point of view is that it should not proceed.”

Speaking earlier this month, Cllr Alan Weinberg, cabinet member for children’s services, which runs the fields, said: “It will bring in some money but half of it will go into the central pot and half to the residents through the area committee.

“I’m pretty sure the residents would rather have an organised car park than all the mess illegal campers bring.

“There is a ‘perhaps’ but I’m a big fan of prevention rather than cure.”

The car park is due to be in place from July 27 to August 10.

A council spokesman said earlier this month that there was no legal requirement for planning permission to be sought for the car park because it will be in place for less than 28 days.

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