During the last few months of 2018, Jon Cruddas MP was made aware of a planning application put forward in Elm Park, which would have seen the demolition of Carries Hall Community Centre. Residents contacted Jon sharing their concerns, worried that they were going to lose a vital piece of their community.

The hall is used by many local groups such as playgroups, exercise groups, dance troupes and religious groups but unfortunately, has been out of action for over a year now due to the hall not being available to the public. Local groups are still very eager to access the hall and hope they will be able to in the near future.

Jon’s Havering Co-ordinator Fay Hough and Action Team Member, Trevor Mckeever met with residents of Elm Park to discuss the planning application. Jon pledged his full support to residents and vowed to fight against the plans. A letter opposing the planning application was sent straight away, and The South Havering Action Team joined residents in a protest outside Havering Town Hall.

On Monday 21st of January the news broke that the planning application had been refused. The first point of refusal was: “The development would result in the irrevocable loss of a community facility and offers no replacement provision. The harm arising from this loss would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the potential benefit associated with additional housing delivery.”

Jon Cruddas MP said: “This is a fantastic result for the Elm Park community. Carries Hall has been an anchor in Elm Park for many years and, is used regularly by local groups. We must not lose sight of community bases when planning development.  These bases play an active role and must be protected."