Housing association ‘thorn in Beckton gardener’s side’

Shammim Sadiq in the communal garden she built

Shammim Sadiq in the communal garden she built - Credit: Archant

A Beckton woman who has spent hundreds of pounds creating a garden outside her block of flats has been told she cannot do any further work on it.

Shammim Sadiq's garden on the estate

Shammim Sadiq's garden on the estate - Credit: Archant

Shammim Sadiq, 43, began her green-fingered project four-months-ago and since then has bought trees, flowers and even a picnic bench.

But East Thames Housing, which owns the property, have told her that she should have sought permission for the work before carrying it out and now insist that she cannot do any more work on it without asking.

The mum-of-one said she has already asked the five other families in her block, who approved it, and that since she began the garden, it has improved the neighbourhood.

“I moved in five years ago and I didn’t know anyone until I started this project,” she said.

“Every day I’m out there people stop and talk, it’s created a real community spirit. I’ve spent hundreds and hundreds of pounds on it, and it’s just not fair.”

Ms Sadiq said she would take on responsibility for watering and maintaining the garden.

Most Read

But she has been told by the housing association to ask in advance of adding any other plants or decorations.

She insisted the garden was “still a work in progress” and that she wanted to install “two free-standing trellises”.

An East Thames spokesman said the group had not asked Ms Sadiq to remove the garden and that it “appreciates the work that she has undertaken in creating a beautiful space.”

She added: “We have, however made Ms Sadiq aware that we usually require residents to ask permission before undertaking any work like this in a communal area.

“This is because the space where the garden is located is intended for the enjoyment of all residents, and we prefer to consult with everyone before changes are made, to ensure that they are in agreement with the proposed work.

“In this instance, we will be working with the residents of Bradymead and our maintenance partner, Interserve, to look after this area going forward. We have just launched a green spaces project to improve areas like this and we would be happy to work with any of our residents to create a community garden.”