Developer: Evergreen Field ‘could become an eyesore’

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Now this is really weird. Either it’s an unfortunate mistake or it’s unbelievably frank.

The Wanstead Guardian is reporting that the new owner of the hallowed Evergreen Field on Wanstead High Street is hoping to get the longstanding bar on development on the spot withdrawn. Dalbir Singh Sanger, director of Dalco Developments Ltd, is wanting to build seven houses, two flats and two shops on the ground, the paper says.

Redbridge Council has long held that the land is open space and cannot be used for housing. It was a battle to prevent development on the area 15 years ago which led to the founding of the Wanstead Society.

So what is Mr Sanger’s next move? He apparently told the paper:

“The field is fenced off and isn’t benefiting anyone and hasn’t done for 15 years. It is a waste of land and we are trying to bring it back to the community. What we are saying is lets get our head together and work something out. If they don’t want what we propose when we put in our application, we will go to appeal.

“If worse comes to worse we will grow our own vegetables there. There are so many things that we can do there which will be an eyesore to local people. ” [Our italics]

Can Mr Singh really have said this? It seems a remarkable thing to say. Perhaps it was a joke? Or maybe, in the now fashionable phrase, he misspoke.

15 Comments on "Developer: Evergreen Field ‘could become an eyesore’"


  1. Having walked past this site, I have often thought what I would do with it if I owned it. Looking at both sides of this argument, considering this is privately owned land, there has to be a compromise that would be some level of profit for the developer and something excellent for the community. Perhaps the developer could build something single story to the back of the site ie sheltered housing for old people (what a lovely and convenient spot and to the front of the site, could be some community garden space linked to the Green with a cafe on it like thishttp://www.timeout.com/london/restaurants/venue/2%3A2070/pavilion-cafe


  2. Some elderly residents would love people watching right outside their window and it would be a draw for people from all over to the High Street. I know I would love to frequent something quality outdoorsy on the high street daily.


  3. I don’t think the current site is far from the threatened eyesore – it’s a neglected, albeit green space. I don’t really think more apartments would add anything to that part of the High Street – in car-choked Wanstead maybe a sunken, landscaped car park like this http://www.bustler.net/index.php/article/james_bond-style_pond_and_parking_garage_entrance_by_hosper/ might be a decent return for the developer. That said I am not aware of any law that states a developer must profit from something he’s bought of his own free will given the existing restrictions. Some they win ..


  4. Having walked past this site, I have often thought what I would do with it if I owned it. Looking at both sides of this argument, considering this is privately owned land, there has to be a compromise that would be some level of profit for the developer and something excellent and charcterful for the community.
    Perhaps the developer could build something single story to the back of the site ie sheltered housing for old people (what a lovely and convenient spot) and to the front of the site, could be some community garden space linked to the Green with a cafe on it like this
    http://www.timeout.com/london/restaurants/venue/2%3A2070/pavilion-cafe

    Some elderly residents might love people watching right outside their window and it would be a draw for people from all over to the High Street. I know I would love to frequent something quality outdoorsy on the high street daily. A public private enterprise. After all, it is a High Street location with plenty of parkland all around. Then everybody gets something. This way nobody gets anything.


  5. Hmmm interesting nick and thats a very innovative idea. The site does have it’s good and bad days. I have seen it full of rubbish and overgrown a number of times. Quite an eyesore. Nobody commercial is going to spend that kind of money without return. It’s good for everyone to suggest fab examples they would like to see and perhaps one of those ideas will lead to something special and viable. The end could go 4 ways.
    1. some profit for developer and a great addition for locals. 2. Or it is bought by the public purse or community (unlikely) 3. Or the status quo remains or 4. over development eventually gets the go ahead (which no wanstead person would want). 1 or 2 would be the ideal.


  6. Which beggars the question why someone would pay £200k+ for a site which ostensibly cannot be developed. A strange commercial decision. The fact that Mr. Sanger has chosen to purchase the land does not entitle him (and Telford Homes in the background) to make any profit. He has purchased the land fully aware that the council has a restriction on development. I’m not sure why the majority of us abide by planning and building controls and others appear to think that these controls do not apply to them. The fact that Mr. Sanger feels it appropriate to threaten the council and the people of Wanstead with creating an eyesore should he not get his way is disturbing to say the least. I suggest we keep a very close eye on these shenangigans!


  7. it IS an eyesore at present thanks to the wonders of anti-developers
    whatever happens it has to get planning permission and fit in.eh?

    PLUS there are RATS there- nice for the kiddies playgroung I must say


  8. Evergreen Field looked like a lovely wild meadow when it was overgrown. My daughter and I used to enjoy watching the flowers and wildlife in it. It was definitely not a waste of land. It is only since it has been cut down that it looks like scrubland. I think that it should now be cultivated as a wildflower meadow (perhaps with a few swings and benches) which we can all enjoy. The council has a restriction on development on this land which Mr Sanger was aware of when he brought it. It is outrageous that Mr Sanger now feels that he can develop it. People of Wanstead, unite and rise up against this threat to our precious urban green space!

    P.S. Who owned this land before (I had always assumed that it was the church) and why didn’t the people of Wanstead know that it was for sale?


  9. The owner seems to already be carrying out his threat to make it an eyesore by allowing all the rats to breed in the field and not clearing up the rubbish that has accumulated there.


  10. The field was beautiful when it had been left to grow free. A community garden with space for everyone to grow flowers, fruit and vegetables would be an incredible idea for the space and our community. If you want to build something why by land with a development restriction. Let’s stop this economy yet another block of cheap, nasty, badly designed flats that are no more a pleasure to live in that to look at. We already have plenty of those. The little green space we have left we need to treasure!


  11. The land was originally owned by the Metropolitan Police who sold it to Telford Homes (without any consultation with the local community); Telford Homes most recently sold it to Mr. Sanger’ company with a clause that should Mr Sanger’s company be able to develop the site that Telford would enjoy a share of the spoils.


  12. Yes it is full or rats at the moment.

    How about a carpark ? Would that ease the congestion and perhaps benefit the local shops ?


  13. Maybe a naive question, but why doesn’t Redbridge council compulsorily purchase the land, take down the fences and open it up to the public?

    It’s hardly ‘open space’ when it’s fenced in and inaccessible.


  14. i agree with macuser e7, above.

    obviously local gov’t is permanently short of funds, but this is just too good a chance to miss…..it would be such a fantastic addition to the existing park.

    once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.

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