Waltham Forest Guardian – 26 January 2015
Plans to remove provision for an Olympic sport from faciltiies in Waltham Forest three years after the 2012 games must be reviewed, according to London’s commmissioner for sport.
The only high diving board in the borough has been removed as Pool and Track in Chingford Road, Walthamstow, is demolished to make way for a new sports centre.
Members and supporters of the diving club based at the centre campaigned for the board to form part of the new centre, insisting it is vital to develop young talent,
Tom Daley’s diving partner Pete Waterfield, who grew up in Walthamstow, spoke out about the plans last year.
In September, the designs for the new centre were rejected by the planning committee for loss of provision, and the council’s lesiure provder GLL was urged to consider adding a 5m diving board to plans.
The company submitted new plans months later, but did not include the board.
Kate Hoey, the Boris Johnson’s commissioner for sport said the mayor was always opposed to the removal of sports.
Writing to the leader of the council, Chris Robbins, she said families cannot be expected to travel to Newham for the sport.
“The Mayor of London and I remain steadfastly opposed to the loss of any local sporting facility unless there is a compelling case otherwise, such as agreed local provision that will replace the facilities lost,” Ms Hoey added.
“I understand that the Council’s position is that those residents who wish to continue to participate in diving should in future use the facilities at the London Aquatics Centre.
“Whilst the London Aquatics Centre is an excellent community facility, with a journey between the two venues taking around an hour via public transport, this would present a significant barrier to participation in diving for local residents.
“Diving facilities in Greater London are in scarce supply, and although I recognise that the Pool and Track facilities are set for a considerable upgrade as a whole, I would encourage you to revisit plans to remove the five metre diving platform to ensure that Waltham Forest residents can continue to participate in diving activities at their local facility.”
The council will decide on new plans on February 3.
Please sign the petiton urging Waltham Forest Council to require all facilities at: