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Havering cabinet approves sale of Windmill Hall land despite residents’ protest

PUBLISHED: 15:00 17 August 2013

Upminster residents who were against the sale of the Old Windmill Hall land protested before Havering Council's cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Upminster residents who were against the sale of the Old Windmill Hall land protested before Havering Council's cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Archant

Residents protesting against the sale of Upminster’s Old Windmill Hall site were left disappointed after Havering Council’s cabinet approved the plan on Wednesday.

Cllr Ramsey argued for the Windmill Hall land to be soldCllr Ramsey argued for the Windmill Hall land to be sold

Members of the Friends of Upminster Park stood outside the town hall waving placards in the hopes of convincing the councillors to change their minds.

However, the cabinet, which agreed to the plan in principle in February, decided to go ahead after considering feedback from the public.

The park group have been vocal about their opposition, collecting over 2,500 signatures on a petition.

Chairwoman Janet Davies said before the meeting: “We will be disappointed if we lose, but we can only try, it’s no use sitting back and being complacent.

Cllr Hawthorn opposed the plans, stating the issues of car parking and grantsCllr Hawthorn opposed the plans, stating the issues of car parking and grants

“They are taking part of the park, which is wrong, and they are taking car spaces when parking is already a nightmare.”

Fifteen car spaces will be lost in the sale, which will fund improvement projects across Havering.

The council will make small adjustments to the boundaries of the park in order to keep the same amount of green space.

Cllr Roger Ramsey (Con), who spoke for the plan, discussed letters he had received from residents.

He said: “In some, people seem to have a rather unspecifc impression of what’s proposed here.

“They seem to think we are going to build on Upminster Park and sell development of it in general terms.

“Any development would be subject to planning permission.”

However, Cllr Linda Hawthorn, of the Residents’ Group, spoke against the proposal.

She said: “We are going to lose car spaces, but in the first six months of the car park charging, it has brought in a revenue of £2,150, which shows how well used it is.

“The area is steeped in history.”

Cllr Hawthorn also expressed a concern about New Windmill Hall being able to succcessfully apply for lottery grants in the future.

Cllr Ramsey said after the meeting: “This is not a decision we have taken lightly, but we must act in the best interests of the borough, which means looking at where we can use the value of under-used land to invest in local services.”


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