Survey seeks to create ‘community-led’ vision for Forest Gate

Forest Gate residents outlined their key priorities for regenerating the area in a campaign group’s community survey.

Save Forest Gate (SFG), delivered almost 5,000 questionnaires to local homes as well as quizzing people door-to-door and on Woodgrange Road on what a community-led regeneration would look like.

A total of 547 of those surveyed replied and results show that 92 per cent believe half of any new development should be affordable housing.

Forest Gaters and shopkeepers supported a Community Safety Plan to reduce crime with more community intiatives such as the Forest Gate Festival and Woodgrange Market.

Maintaining the Victorian heritage of the architecture and a distaste for high rise buildings was also apparent while most hoped high-speed rail project Crossrail would provide community benefits.

SFG member Dave Eldridge said: “The most popular overall priority for most residents is that there should be a better retail mix on Woodgrange Road - but the single top priority was that the area should remain low-rise, whilst 96 per cent agreed that all residents should be consulted and involved in the development of future plans for the area.”

Another SFG campaigner Karin Holloway said Newham Council had agreed to a meeting to discuss further proposals, including 20 minutes free parking on Woodgrange Road.

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She said: “We intend to hold a public meeting in the near future, where residents decide whether to include these ideas in a ‘Forest Gate Community Plan’, to improve the area for the community and then work with the council to turn this plan into a reality.”

The survey was carried out in response to a regeneration plan by developers Obsidian who withdrew their application earlier this year.

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