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Calls to shut ‘den of iniquity’ under viaduct arches in Woodford Green

PUBLISHED: 12:50 06 June 2013 | UPDATED: 12:50 06 June 2013

Cllr Felicity Banks at the problem spot

Cllr Felicity Banks at the problem spot

Archant

An “out of sight and out of the way” spot in Woodford Green is causing grief to residents who claim it has become a hangout for youngsters to smoke, drink and take drugs.

The “long-standing” problem spot is under the arches of a viaduct in Scoter Close, Woodford Green, with a renewed effort now being made to sort out the problem.

Roding ward Cllr Gwyneth Deakins said: “The problem is, it’s a place that naturally attracts anti-social behaviour. It’s out of sight and out of the way.”

Residents and councillors are calling for the removal of metal crash barriers and possibly even closing off the area completely.

Cllr Deakins added: “For some reason, these spaces are divided up by motorway crash barriers. We had a meeting with a council officer this week. His memory goes back many years and, between us, we don’t know why they were put in.

“The fact is they just act as a seat for youngsters who sit and smoke and drink – and maybe worse things than that.

“We’ve looked to see if it’s possible to get these barriers removed and, longer term, whether there’s anything we can do to close off this area completely and turn it into proper garages, for example.

“There’s heaps of rubbish, heaps of fag ends and cans. We’ve asked for that to be tidied up.

“Residents are alleging there’s sex and drugs and general noise and smoking. They’ve alleged drug-dealing.”

Roding ward councillors had a meeting with senior highways officers last week about the problem spot. Roding Safer Neighbourhoods Team is aware of it and is understood to agree the barriers should be removed.

Speaking of the area under the viaduct, which is next to Broadmead Road, fellow Roding ward Cllr Felicity Banks said: “If you get young people drinking and making noise it is very disruptive for residents, especially with the long evenings.”

Cllr Banks continued: “We’re looking at various options to see what we can do.”

She said she was “hopeful” a solution could be found with the possibility a report on Scoter Close could be sent to area committee two.


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