A community group felt like it had been 'kicked in the teeth' after plans to bid for lottery funding to restore an East London park were shelved ten years ago this week.

Months of hard work has been wasted after a decision not to press ahead with the restoration of an ‘at-risk’ historic park, according to a community group.

The City of London Corporation (CLC) has ditched a plan to bid this year for heritage lottery funds to restore Wanstead Park due to fears over the long-term cost.

The Wanstead Parklands Community Project has been heavily involved in preparing a conservation statement for the bid, a process which cost £40,000.

The group’s Ralph Potter said: “This announcement feels like a real kick in the teeth – especially given the huge local interest this project has generated.

“They’re embarrassed about it being on the at-risk register but perhaps they don’t want to set a precedent of one area getting special treatment.”

Mr Potter questioned CLC’s financial concerns, saying it always knew about the funding arrangements, while the heritage grant would cover 90 per cent of the restoration costs.

The project’s honorary secretary, Richard Arnopp, said: “We’re left just completely up in the air over this.

“Everybody has thrown themselves into this process over a period of many months and we did everything we could to assist.”

It was hoped the cash would pay for the restoration the 18th century Grotto and Temple.

Repairs to the lakes and the park’s many ornaments were also planned.

The park is on English Heritage's at-risk register, which includes important sites in danger of neglect, decay or demolition.

Epping Forest Superintendent Paul Thomson said: “The report requires further work to fully brief the relevant City of London committees on the substantial projected costs.”

A spokeswoman added: "Our bid for Wanstead Park will not be a rapid process because we want to get it right. One of the challenges is that it requires a coalition of four landowners.

"The conservation statement has helped us establish a direction, with experts' comments on areas such as the grotto, ecology and hydrology.

"This piece of work is a stepping stone for the Conservation Management Plan which is necessary for a funding bid. We are definitely looking into securing further funding in the future. Further public consultations are already being planned for the summer."

The deadline for the next round of bidding is February 2012.