Residents’ abortion clinic anger

Residents living above and next to a sexual health and abortion clinic in Stratford have petitioned their housing association, calling the decision to grant the lease “an abdication of your responsibilities to us as your local tenants”.

Around 15 residents and neighbours signed a letter to Mike Sweeny, chief executive of the landlord of One Housing, claiming they were misled by the planning application for the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) centre which simply read “clinic” online.

They wrote: “Abortion is a very sensitive issue to all concerned, and we object strongly to the crass insensitive decision you have made to allow BPAS to use your premises here.

“Furthermore we strongly object that, in abdication of your responsibilites to us as your local tenants, you did not see fit to consult or even inform us.

“We would be grateful if you would urgently reverse your decision and terminate the BPAS lease.”

Previously, residents of the block on Romford Road petitioned One Housing about a 2009 planning application for a 24-hour off-licence in the ground floor space.

In a statement to the Recorder, One Housing said: “We have a number of commercial properties across London, most of which are located within mixed tenure developments.

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“The safety and wellbeing of our residents and the local community is our key priority, so we take care to select businesses which will cause the least noise disturbance.

We do not have any political or religious affiliations and do not discriminate against any type of business.”