Affordability of Boleyn Ground redevelopment among main concerns
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The future of the Boleyn Ground was up for discussion tonight as residents, business owners and community leaders gathered for a public meeting.
The 52 participants were divided into four groups, discussing different aspects of the stadium’s redevelopment on a rotational basis.
Concerns were raised over the affordability of the homes, which are expected to provide accommodation for 1,000 people.
The distribution of the flats and houses to those living in the borough was another issue for many, as was the quality and type of the properties.
Others who currently live in the shadow of the stadium expressed concerns about how the building work would affect access to their property, particularly as some roads only have one way in and out of them.
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Further talks saw discussions on businesses and jobs, and how both would be affected by Galliard Group’s plans to build a new estate on the site once West Ham United move out in 2016.
The need to save businesses which depend on revenue from football fans to survive was discussed, as was the provision of employment for Newham residents in the construction of the estate.
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The role of young people on the new development was mentioned, both in the provision of apprenticeships during the building process as well as with facilities such as youth clubs and play areas.
“We want it to be somewhere people can live and be part of the community, rather than a separate gated off area,” said Matthew Porter, senior officer at Transform Newham, one of three community groups to organise the meeting at Latimer Hall.
“We filled the hall tonight, which was great as it’s important people living in the area have their say.”
There are plans to hold a second public consultation meeting later this year, as well as become involved with the East London Community Land Trust and liaise with architecture students from the university to draw up a set of proposals.
Community land trusts help to reduce the cost of housing by retaining ownership of the land, while residents own the property on it, instead of the homebuyer owning both as is common practice.
Chairman of the East London Community Land Trust, Paul Regan, said: “We’re the first urban community land trust in the UK, and we’ve already seen success with the St Clement’s hospital site in Mile End.
“It’s up to local people to say what they want to happen with the site.”