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Anger at plan to 'destroy' communal garden
A communal garden which took residents of a block of flats years to create is to be turned into a rubbish dump, it is claimed.
Thousands of pounds have been spent to make the garden a cherished space for residents, some of whom are elderly, and their families in Read Court, Waltham Abbey.
They laid a lawn, created flowerbeds, bought statues and installed a water feature and a bench.
But households last week received a letter informing them that a decision had been made to erect a bin storage unit outside their homes.
Plans show that a large area in the centre of the back garden will be ripped up and an 8ft tall shed containing industrial wheelie bins, will be erected.
Bins are currently situated in the front of the block and the bags are taken to the side of the road on collection day – a system residents say works well.
Cathy Jones, 94, has lived in the block for 25 years.
She said: “I don’t agree with it at all. Nobody asked us. They want to take our lovely garden away from us.”
Lou Crerar, 53, is angry at the proposal and is predicting problems.
He said: “They say this is a communal area, it is for everyone, but nobody has been consulted.
“Think of the rats, the overflowing rubbish, the fire risk and the new access that they will give to burglars.
“People at the back will have their view ruined and the smell in the summer will be horrendous.”
Ian Smith is worried about the impact on elderly residents.
“How can the elderly ladies be expected to cross the wet grass in the winter?” He said.
“We’ve spent years on this garden, we maintain it ourselves.
“There are plenty of places for the bins to go.”
“We spent thousands on this garden fixing it all up and now they are going to destroy it
“These old ladies will break their necks trying to get out in the winter. They haven’t done a health and safety check, it’s a nightmare waiting to happen."
All 12 households have written an objection letter to the housing department.
The Guardian has contacted the council for a response.
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