Wanstead meeting anything but Flat

EMOTIONS ran high in Forest Gate on Wednesday night during a public meeting to discuss a Met police briefing centre planned for Wanstead Flats.

Around 200 people crammed into Durning Hall on Earlham Grove to hear representatives from the Police and the Corporation of London, which owns the green space, put the case for the centre.

Residents fear that the required change in the law to erect the station for 90 days during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games could set a precedent that would allow people to build on historic green space.

A banner declaring “open spaces are children’s places” hung from a rail around the hall demonstrating opposition to the plans.

The Home Office is currently consulting to amend the Epping Forest Act 1878 so that the structure can be built on the fairground area of the Flats.

If the plans do go ahead, the Flats may have to be dug up to put in new drainage and permanent electricity cables.

Forest Gate resident Else Kvist told the Recorder: “I do worry that they will have to dig up a lot of the flats up if they decide to put down permanent cables and I do worry that it would open the Flats up to be used for many other events in the future.”