May 23 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, March 14, 2013
A challenge to plans to sell off an old hall and car park site have been defeated despite a 2,000-name petition against it.
Residents’ Association and Labour councillors had recalled Havering Council’s decision to a special meeting in a bid to stop the sale of the Old Windmill Hall site in Upminster.
About 50 residents protested outside Tuesday’s meeting at Havering town hall.
Opposition councillors argued that not enough consideration had been given to the plan. They said there wouldn’t be a chance to use the land for any expansion of the nearby New Windmill Hall and car park and there had been no real consultation over the issue.
But they were defeated by three votes to two at the value overview and scrutiny committee meeting.
Barry Ward, secretary of the Friends of Upminster Park group, said: “It’s a disaster quite frankly – residents and most businesses were against it.
“We’d calculated that the council could have made £750,000 over 20 years if they had kept the land and extended the car park.
“If flats are built on the site, it will ruin the area’s open views and groups who use the park nearby may be under threat.”
The council’s deputy leader Cllr Steven Kelly said recently: “The car park was there to serve visitors to the Old Windmill Hall, which was closed in 2006 and demolished in 2012.
“We had to take a decision about how to manage the site and selling it means we can use the funds generated to continue to make improvements throughout Havering without raising council tax.
“There’s also ample parking for shoppers at car parks and now on the high street.”
The council will now start the process of selling the site.