East London farm will close forever and this is what will happen to the animals

Campaigners have expressed their “shock” at the decision to close a much-loved farm in East London.

The permanent closure of Newham Farm was announced by the borough’s council on September 7 after a unanimous decision by the cabinet.

Newham residents have expressed outrage at the decision and claimed that they were not consulted.

Locals have said that the farm provides a well-managed green space, which is essential for the community and wellbeing and young people.

Newham Council has said that the farm’s site will be used as a public green space, and that it will consult with residents on its use.

It added that “significant issues” with the farm meant that it needed to be closed.

The council has also said that the farm’s animals will be safely rehoused, with most already moved to other locations.

A petition to stop the farm’s closure has already attracted 40,000 signatures and looks set to reach its 50,000-signature target.

Alison McLucas, a Newham teacher and resident, set up the petition to keep the farm open.

She told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that she used to bring her children to Newham Farm and that she wanted young people in the area to continue enjoying its benefits.

She said: “I think that people are just shocked that the council would do that without public consultation and nobody knows why.

“People believe that children and families, and the communities should have access to a farm in the area.

“Our children don’t go outside their area and it’s really important that they know where their food comes from.

“There are all sorts of reasons for having a farm: volunteering, work experience, youth crime, to help children have somewhere to go.”

Alison added that she and the thousands of others who signed her petition want to see the farm open, but that there was concern over the council’s engagement with the local community and what it plans to do next.

She said: “It’s vague what they’re saying – they’ve moved from it being closed to redeveloped.

“That might include an animal offer, and it might include a farm, but we’re saying that’s not good enough, it needs to be a farm.

“We want to see it open for the community, for education, for wellbeing, for special educational needs. It is a really important asset to us.”

Newham Council was contacted for comment.

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