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Developer Dalbir Singh Sanger has revealed interest from mosque builders
A mosque could be built on a green space after community opposition to plans for housing on the site.
Dalco Developments, the owner of the space known as Evergreen Field in High Street, Wanstead, said it has been contacted by a interested party in the Middle East, which wants to build a place of worship.
But Dalco's Dalbir Singh Sanger said he still hopes to push ahead with his plan for seven houses, two flats and two shops, despite criticisms of the plan and calls for the space to be re-opened for community use.
Redbridge Council has also said any development of the land would contravene its green spaces policy.
Mr Sanger said: "I have had an enquiry from an interested party in the Middle East about selling the land to them for a mosque.
"I really don’t want to sell the land on. I want to keep it and give half of it back to the community."
Geoff Horsnell, of the Wanstead Society, which objects to the plans, said: "I don't think there is a sufficient population of Muslims in Wanstead for a large mosque.
"The plans wouldn't get through the planning process anyway.
"Whatever is built on Evergreen Field will not be welcome on the High Street."
Mr Sanger’s consultant Dez Stowe said: "Dal doesn’t want to sell it, but as a last resort he could sell it to the interested party and let them get on with it.
"There is no benefit to anyone by calling it Evergreen Field. It is just an empty field."
Mr Sanger added: "It’s like someone coming round to your house and renaming it.
"We don’t want it called Evergreen Field, because it’s not even green."
The field began to be known as Evergreen Field in the mid-90s when the Metropolitan Police, which owned the site at the time, planned to sell the land.
A house which was knocked down on the land in the 1960s was called Evergreen Lodge and it is believed the name stems from there.
Dalco is currently in negotiations with Redbridge Council in an attempt to get the field reclassified from an open space to a development site.
It is arguing that, as the site has never been open to the public, it should not be protected under the council’s open space policy.
Mr Stowe said: "I think we have a good chance with our application. Dal is prepared to give something back to the community, which is rare among developers and anything is possible."
Mr Sanger declined to confirm any further details about the potential buyer interested in building a mosque.
The Wanstead Society’s application to bring the field back into community use is due to be discussed at the next meeting of Redbridge Council’s regional planning committee west on March 20 at Wanstead Church School, Church Path, Wanstead.
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