Socialist Worker

Environmental campaigns

by Anindya Bhattacharyya
Issue No. 1962

About 50 local residents from Bethnal Green, east London, attended a lively and angry meeting on Tuesday of last week to object to a proposed building development in one of the area’s few green spaces.

Weavers Field in Bethnal Green is a popular recreation spot for local people from all ages and backgrounds. But Tower Hamlets council wants to erect a large building on the site that would effectively split the field in two.

The meeting, organised by local pressure group Green Friends of Weavers Field, cross examined David Chesterton from East Thames, the housing association that is pushing through the plans.

Residents, however, tore into East Thames’s proposals. “We don’t really want to know about your ‘processes’,” said one man. “We want to know why you’re building on a piece of green which is the only one we’ve got.”

Part of the controversy is due to the proposed purpose of the building—a “foyer” designed to house and train around 50 vulnerable young homeless people.

Some residents argued that this would cause increased problems with crime and drugs in the area.

However, most were sympathetic to improving facilities for homeless people, but not at the expense of paving over green space.

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Article information

Sat 6 Aug 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1962
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