Council under pressure after Upton Centre homes approval
- Credit: Google
Pressure is growing on the town hall after it approved plans for new homes which don't include a promised community centre.
Newham Council's bid to build 65 flats and a nursery at the former site of The Upton Centre in Upton Park was given a green light in February.
But past users of the community centre in Claude Road say Newham has rowed back on a pledge made during Sir Robin Wales's administration to provide a space at the redeveloped site.
Community groups had to move out of the centre which was demolished to make way for development in 2016.
Simon Davis, of Claude Road, said: "We were assured the vibrant community hub that was lost would be replaced.
You may also want to watch:
"This is another example of residents' concerns being ignored."
Miraj Patel, who advises the Upton Centre Association, said it reserves the right to take whatever lawful and proper means there are to challenge the council's decision.
- 1 Jailed man caught with knife in Stratford to be handed court order
- 2 Worshippers at mosque in Upton Park aim to raise £35k for Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal 2021
- 3 Cause of death remains unknown after body found in disused Forest Gate pub
- 4 Man given community order for 26 counts of criminal damage after scratching name into property
- 5 Forest Gate triple shooting: 'Safety is everybody's business,' councillor says
- 6 Body found in derelict pub in Forest Gate
- 7 Thames Barrier closing for 200th time amid potential east London flooding
- 8 Hundreds arrested after police crackdown on county lines
- 9 Player ratings: Cresswell shines for West Ham in KRC Genk victory
- 10 Newham mathematician to fill in for Countdown presenter and expectant mum Rachel Riley
But he added it doesn't think it will be necessary as Newham's mayor, Rokhsana Fiaz, considers faith and community to be "very important".
A council spokesperson said Newham has been active in finding alternative space for most groups.
Ms Fiaz said affordable homes and opportunities for young people are key concerns shared with her by residents and the new homes show Newham is acting on people's priorities.
Varsha Mistry, secretary of the Milan Mahila Group which used the centre, said: "If you made those promises, then the question is whether there is an obligation to see them through.
"[The council] might not be able to deliver on the same site, but I would hope they would do their best to find a solution which helps them build houses and delivers on the promises given by Sir Robin Wales."
Ms Mistry said the group is a lifeline for its elderly members who are from the borough's Indian community, but membership has dropped from 60 to 38, in part due to the centre's loss.
She added an alternative site, Valetta Grove, is too far from public transport.
However, Ms Fiaz said she felt confident Valetta Grove would be well used, adding it is next to Plaistow Station and a 13 minute walk from the old centre.
"When I became mayor in May 2018, I pledged to make sure community facilities are accessible and inclusive to all," she said.