'Things keep changing': Full store opening of Aklu Plaza suffers further delays

Aklu Miah outside the former Romford Debenhams

Aklu Miah outside the former Romford Debenhams - Credit: Michael Cox

Romford’s Aklu Plaza is facing further delays as its first and second floors remain closed, despite hopes they would be open by the end of March. 

Based in the former Debenhams site in Market Place, Aklu Plaza opened its ground floor with a week-long fish mela in November last year, during which its staff were subjected to racist abuse and were spat at

In January this year, owner Aklu Miah told the Recorder he hoped the first and second floors, which are intended to be used for retail, would be ready by the end of March. 

Aklu Plaza in Market Place

Aklu Plaza in Market Place - Credit: Daniel Gayne

However, he has since said things have continued to be pushed back as the store waits for more products to come in. 

“Things keep changing," he said, adding that he is “trying [his] best to open up as soon as possible”. 

He is also awaiting a decision by Havering Council on a change of use application to convert the third floor into a banqueting suite

A decision was due by March 22, but Aklu said he is yet to be informed of an update on the submission.