Readers and Romford councillors have given their response to uncertainty surrounding the future of a shopping mall in the town.

Aklu Miah, the founder of Aklu Plaza in Market Place, told the Recorder last week that he is ending his current lease on the former Debenhams building later this year.

The company Aklu Plaza Ltd, of which Mr Miah was a director, was dissolved on October 10 according to Companies House.

The mall’s flagship retail unit Home Superstore closed months ago, with food retailer Kacha Bazaar and a furniture showroom currently operating out of its ground floor.

Mr Miah said last week:  “It will be really up to the new leaseholder to decide what to do with the place and whether to keep them (the existing units)."

After our report, readers responded on social media and suggested alternative uses for the site were the mall to close.

Some said the site would be a great location for a John Lewis store, while another felt it should be turned into a central library to add to the community resources.

They said: “When you put libraries in main shopping destinations you revitalise the area and the library. We need community resources.”

Read More: Mystery over Aklu Plaza future in Romford as lease to end

Referring to parking in Romford Market, one reader added that the building should be bulldozed and made into a multi-storey car park.

Labour councillor Jane Keane, of St Albans ward, said that in her view a consultation could be held by Havering Council and Romford Business Improvement District to determine what people need in the area.

She said: “They should also perhaps put together a prospectus for companies that might be interested in investing in Romford so they can actively campaign to some of them.

“It is a very large store. People need to demonstrate what they want to demand for, so there really needs to be a study of modern shopping habits in Romford and see where companies like Westfield are going.

“If they are not coming to Romford, then looking into what is it that the other places are providing more of that we don’t.”

Conservative councillor David Taylor said: “We must breathe some life back into the market square, so that it becomes more than just a car park”, he said.

He said he will “keep a close eye on any plans” for the site.

Aklu Plaza opened in 2022 following the closure of Debenhams.

Mr Miah previously put issues for the centre down to parking problems in the area.