Iain Duncan Smith supports community efforts to replace soon-to-be demolished boathouse (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Iain Duncan Smith backs campaign to replace established boathouse
An MP has told scout leaders and community groups he will help them replace a soon-to-be demolished boathouse.
MP for Chingford Iain Duncan Smith met volunteers from Waltham Forest South Scout District and members of Highams Park community groups to discuss plans to build a new multi-functional centre at Highams Park Lake, off Charter Road.
The area has been upgraded to the highest flood risk, which means lives could be at risk if the area is subject to heavy rainfall.
Plans to pull down the boathouse and build a new dam have been underway for the past 18 months and the City of London Corporation, which owns the boathouse and lake, will start work on the land in April next year.
At the meeting today Mr Duncan Smith said: "I will very happily get in touch with the Corporation of London and try to get them to work with you on this.
"I will also speak to the Lord Mayor about this situation and ask for his involvement."
Ian Handley, of Waltham Forest South Scouts District said the meeting had helped move things forward.
He said: “Today was all about getting support from our local MP and hoping that he can help us to secure planning for a new build that will benefit everyone that use the lake and park.”
No funding for the new community facility has so far been secured, so the group plan to submit a Section 106 Agreement, which require a developer to help offset the effects of a development, and ask the City of London Corporation to replace the current boathouse.
The £1.8 million pound project to help strengthen to 210 year-old dam is timetabled to start on April 1 next year, but scout leaders were recently told they need to leave the boathouse, and urgently need to find temporary accommodation to house canoeing and kayaking equipment.
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