Save our green

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Councillors and local residents came out in full force to protest over the intended build of 64 properties on the green in Gooshays Drive, in Harold Hill.

The local community who live in the area that overlook the green came out on bank holiday Monday to demonstrate and show their anger towards this new development.

Local Councillor Jan Sargent told The Enquirer: “Children have been playing on this Green since the estate was built in the 1940’s.

“In fact I myself, used to play on this very Green. We wondered why the play area was taken away. Now we know why!”

“This green was part of the original design of the Harold Hill estate and was strategically placed there for a purpose.

“In the Havering’s local plan it actually highlights that there is a need for retention and improvement of public open spaces.

“We can all see that this green open space is a valuable community asset which should be protected and promoted by reinstating the much needed play area. We need areas where children can play outside, close to their homes.”

Residents fear that now instead of overlooking a peaceful, green and tranquil space, they will now be overlooking houses and that their natural light will be cut off due to more homes being built again on green space.

Tina Crane who lives in the area, told The Enquirer: “I think this is absolutely disgusting, it’s really no good for our area that is completely over run as it is with all the buildings already here. “

Councillor Sargent continued: “In the council’s planning report for the building of 64 properties on this green it states that there is a park area a ten minute walk away.

“I’m sorry but we cannot even guarantee that our streets are safe to walk along, let alone allow our youth to use a park unsupervised which has been constantly blighted by incidents including where a large knife was found recently on a community police operation.

Concrete jungle

“A park which no longer has a full complement of Parks Police as they have been stripped to the core. To add to this they would have to cross an extremely busy main road which is one of the main arteries through to the A12 and Harold Wood Station to reach the park.”

Sue Wells who lives in Gooshays Drive told The Enquirer: “I think this is terrible, we need space for our children to play in. It’s too dangerous for our children to cross this busy street and go to the park. It’s just making our area even more into a concrete jungle.”

Councillor Sargent added: “The recent horrific events with the death of a beautiful young lady have traumatised Harold Hill and there are many in the community coming together now to try and raise much needed funds for our young people.

“We all recognise the importance of investing in our youth. Ironically we were in talks of trying to raise money to improve play areas like Gooshays Gardens. Havering I feel that we need to follow our own guidelines. Open spaces are vital for our health and wellbeing.”

Dorothy Scott who moved from Highfield Towers in Collier Row to Gooshays Drive so she could overlook a green space, told The Enquirer: “They are going to put a block of flats right outside my window and I’ve been looking at flats all my life that’s why I moved here to see the green space and now they are doing this.”

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