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Angry Royal Docks neighbours warn proposed warehouse 'will put children at risk'

PUBLISHED: 19:00 08 August 2019

Neighbours opposed to a bid to build a distribution warehouse in Silvertown met at Britannia Village Hall. Picture: Lisa Pattenden

Neighbours opposed to a bid to build a distribution warehouse in Silvertown met at Britannia Village Hall. Picture: Lisa Pattenden

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A proposed warehouse would put children at risk on their way to school, according to angry neighbours.

A computer generated image of how the warehouse might look. Picture: Chetwood Architects; Gazeley PeruvianA computer generated image of how the warehouse might look. Picture: Chetwood Architects; Gazeley Peruvian

About 200 people filled Britannia Village Hall in Royal Docks for a public meeting aimed at rallying opposition to the bid to build a distribution centre on land in North Woolwich Road, Silvertown.

Royal Wharf Residents Association member, Karen Blunden-Fried, who chaired the meeting, said: "The lorry park would put adults and their children in jeopardy during the school run.

"It would place children within the direct path of lorries and vans constantly leaving and arriving at the facility throughout the day."

The meeting - attended by East Ham MP Stephen Timms, London Assembly member Unmesh Desai and Cllr Mas Patel - was organised by the campaign group Royal Docks against the West Silvertown Lorry Park.

Karen Blunden-Fried. Picture: Lisa PattendenKaren Blunden-Fried. Picture: Lisa Pattenden

More than 1,000 people have signed a petition to stop the development. The bid submitted in July by the developer, Gazeley, has seen at least 300 objections registered on Newham Council's planning website.

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Karen said: "Newham is benefiting from a rise in young professional populations, bringing additional tax revenue, demand for goods and services, and generating local jobs.

"If approved, this proposal represents a significant step back. The council will see many residents look to move elsewhere."

East Ham MP, Stephen Timms, Assembly Member, Unmesh Desai and Cllr Mas Patel were at the meeting. Picture: Lisa PattendenEast Ham MP, Stephen Timms, Assembly Member, Unmesh Desai and Cllr Mas Patel were at the meeting. Picture: Lisa Pattenden

A Gazeley spokesman said: "We are aware of residents' views and will continue to engage with the community.

"Our proposals will provide a much-needed last-mile logistics facility on a strategic industrial location that has sat vacant for around 20 years."

He added the firm is looking at providing at least 35 per cent of construction jobs and 50pc of more than 600 full time equivalent operational jobs to Newham residents in ongoing work with the council's job advice hub, Newham Workplace.

"Road safety has been a key consideration of this scheme and our proposals include adding a crossing, new railings and raised curbs to the existing signalled crossings and cycle lanes along the North Woolwich Road and Silvertown Way, as well as improvements around the DLR station," he said.

Five per cent of vehicles using the site would be HGVs and the rest cars and vans, he added.

A council spokesman said: "Officers are considering all representations and will present an officer recommendation to the strategic development committee later in the year."

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