Five open spaces have been formally given village green status to save them from being developed perpetually.

Havering Council received a legal approval on May 7 after plans were announced in April last year to designate these sites as village greens to protect them for future generations.

Land at Gooshays in Harold Hill, at New Zealand Way in Rainham and at Wennington Green in Wennington Village are among the chosen locations.

Romford Recorder: Wennington Green is on the list of protected sitesWennington Green is on the list of protected sites (Image: Havering Council)Additionally, land west of Taunton Road in Harold Hill and Fleet Close Play Site in Upminster are also earmarked as such.

Read More: Havering Council to give open spaces village green status

A campaign was carried out by homeowners on the Dover’s Farm Estate in Rainham for years to save the green space in New Zealand Way from development.

Colin Bloor, 61, who has lived on the estate all his life, had earlier said about the space: “People take their dogs for a run or just go over there because it’s the only open piece of green of decent size other than a patch a grass on the corner of the street. 

“It is the only actual play area that we have."

The news of the proposal receiving formal approval was welcomed by Cllr Matt Stanton, who was also actively involved in the campaign.

“After all this time and lots of community events done on the greens during the campaign, it's lovely to see that it all paid off," he said. 

“I know that we have to deliver housing for people, not only for those who are looking to move into the area but also those whose children are growing up and they want them to have a place of their own.

“But we also have to deliver open spaces and all the other things that actually make a community rather than just a collection of houses. So, I am really pleased that we have been able to protect these sites," he said.

Cllr Graham Williamson, cabinet member for development and regeneration, echoed the view and said that Havering Residents Association had delivered on the election manifesto promise to protect these valuable green spaces by turning them into village greens.

He added: “The next steps will be to work closely with ward councillors and the local community to agree what each of the village green dedications will look like, and how the community might want to celebrate that."