Council ‘had no exclusive with Forest Gate developers’ Obsidian

Newham Council denied any “sort of exclusive deal” with Forest Gate regenerators Obsidian in a letter to residents last week.

Written by Cllr Conor McAuley, Chair of the Strategic Development Committee, and circulated to concerned residents by Forest Gate Cllr Kay Scoresby, the letter says there was never a partnership or exclusive treatment of any kind with developers Obsidian over the future of Forest Gate.

Cllr McAuley wrote: “Throughout the local debate over the past year, there seems to have been a mistaken belief that Newham was locked into some sort of exclusive deal with Obsidian. This has never been the case.”

They also confirmed that the withdrawal of the regeneration plans had closed the process down with no recourse to appeal so any future plans must be submitted anew.

Obsidian said last week that they intend to submit another proposal and Cllr McAuley’s letter said the council will talk to the developers again if they come forward as they are significant landowners in Forest Gate and other offers are thin on the ground.

Cllr McAuley wrote: “Sadly since the credit crunch in 2008, developers have not exactly been banging on our doors to pursue projects in Forest Gate.

“But if they did they would find that Newham can and will talk to any other developer or local interest who wish to come forward with ideas and plans for the Woodgrange Road area.”

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In response, long time campaign group Save Forest Gate Ltd say they are considering working with Planning Aid for London to create their own regeneration plan.