HOW HIGH CAN WE ALLOW DEVELOPERS TO BUILD?

Focus has previously reported on the massive high rise flat developments in Waltham Forest.

Forest Ward Focus Team members were with residents at the Planning Committee when the Council agreed the over development of buildings, of up to 18 storeys, in Lea Bridge Road.

Only recently Leyton Focus Team member Bob Sullivan and residents spoke against the 16 storey block at the end of Dunedin Road.

It appears that developers are having a field day as the Council continually agree the building of unaffordable multi high rise flats in the borough.

The latest plan submitted by the owners of the Mall shopping centre in Walthamstow is to build four blocks including one of 27 storeys!  Currently local residents have presented a 2,000 plus petition to the Council in protest against the plans. If you would like to support the local residents then contact ‘Save Walthamstow Town Centre’ on line: SAVE OUR TOWN CENTRE

Focus says:  In our experience the Labour Council never listens to residents and carries on agreeing the over development of every bit of land for multi high rise unaffordable flats.

OLYMPIC PARK – SO MUCH FOR LEGACY!!

Last year a planning application was submitted for the creation of London’s largest concrete and asphalt factory – right at the centre of the Olympic Park, and in the middle of a dense residential area.

This development would have a dramatic impact on the local area and residents, creating 3 concrete batching plants and an Asphalt production plant adjacent to a heavily used green space.

The proposed plants, which will be next door to London Athletics and the new UCL East campus, are to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with an estimated 900 heavy vehicles coming and going daily.

This will create an industrial blight on the area by introducing significant air, dust and noise pollution to what is otherwise a fast regenerating part of the city.

The planning applications have been submitted as four (4) wholly independent operations, without consideration given to their cumulative effects on an area now defined by new residential communities, pedestrian and cycling routes, recreational zones and athletics venues. There is a serious risk that hazardous chemical dust from concrete and asphalt manufacturing activities and associated vehicle fumes will raise air pollution to dangerous levels, resulting in asthma and other respiratory issues for the populations of Newham, Hackney and Tower Hamlets.

The full applications can be found on LLDC’s planning website at http://planningregister.londonlegacy.co.uk/swift/apas/run/wphappcriteria.display : PA Refs: 15/00368/FUL / 15/00400/FUL / 15/00414/FUL / 16/00194/SCRES].

The proposal is scheduled for review before the London Legacy Development Corporation’s (LLDC) planning committee as early as September 27th 2016. The LLDC was given special powers and a remit directly from the Mayor’s office to manage the Olympic Park area regeneration beyond 2012.

The LLDC is not directly accountable to local residents in the same way that the councils of Newham, Tower Hamlets or Hackney are. Consequently, the decision making of the LLDC will not always be in the interests of local residents. And it is the LLDC alone that has the final decision on whether this concrete batching development goes ahead.

The proposal of the concrete works is completely incompatible with the Mayor’s office ‘Clean Air for London Policy‘ or the current direction of residential and other developments planned for the area.

In order to protect the integrity and future development of the community, it is of paramount importance that a concerted effort be made by local residents and businesses to oppose this planning proposal NOW.

Please sign the petition today.

THE GENERAL ELECTION – WHAT THE PAPERS SAY!

National Press recognises that the Liberal Democrats, in the Coalition Government, has been a good successful moderating influence.

Local campaigner Bob Sullivan writes:

There are only two days to go.

Having been in finance for all of my working life it amazes me to hear the Labour Party and other parties trying to make out that the only way to get out of debt is to borrow more, and for the Tories way out of debt is to cut benefits for the poor and disabled but not ask for a penny from the rich.

The only sensible party is the Lib Dems – I hear you saying ‘He would say that’.  Having seen the debates and the media coverage the Lib Dems would stop the Tories taking from the poor and Labour spending again money we do not have. But don’t believe what I say:

Please see below what the National papers are now saying about the Lib Dems.  Seems a bit hypocritical as most of the time they have never missed a chance in trying to rubbish Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats.  They have finally come to their senses in recognising that the people need to vote for the Lib Dems to bring about a stable Government and a fairer society.

Newspapers from across the political divide are united in their belief Liberal Democrats have been a force for good in government.

In their editorials, national titles recognise the Liberal Democrats achievements in Government and the stability the party has brought to the country in the last five years.

The newspapers also acknowledge that in the inevitability of a hung parliament, the Liberal Democrats will anchor Britain in the centre ground and stop a lurch to the right or the left.

Endorsements include:

The Independent

Many of the Government’s achievements are owed to the Liberal Democrats. The party has been “a force for progress”. The Coalition deserves another chance.

The Financial Times

The country would benefit from Liberal Democrat “moderation” in Westminster” – in seats where the Lib Dems are challenging “we would vote tactically for them.”

The Times

The best hope for the country is for the Conservatives to team up with the Liberal Democrats again. Vote for Nick Clegg in Sheffield Hallam.

The Guardian 

…the next Commons would be enhanced by the presence of Lib Dem MPs.” Vote for the Liberal Democrats in Tory-facing seats.

Sunday Times

Nick Clegg and his Lib Dem colleagues deserve to stay. Tory supporters in Labour-Lib Dem marginals “may wish to vote for the Lib Dem candidate”.

The Sun

Where only the Lib Dems can beat Labour, “give the Lib Dems your vote this time”.

The Economist

The best hope for Britain is with a continuation of the Coalition

The People

Lib Dems tempered Tory excess and delivered the last government’s greatest success with a tax-free allowance worth £800.

Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg said:

As we enter the final stretch of the campaign, more and more people are recognising that only the Liberal Democrats can keep Britain safe, stable and fair.

Everybody knows that no one will win the election outright, so the big question you face is: who do you want influencing the next Government?

Do you want an unstable minority government with either UKIP or the SNP dragging Britain off to the extremes of left and right, or do you want the Liberal Democrats to keep
Britain in the stable centre-ground?

Our party has put the country first and shown that coalitions can be strong and stable.

It’s wonderful that even our harshest critics now acknowledge the Liberal Democrats have been, and will be, a force for good in British public life.

Thank you for taking an interest

Bob Sullivan Lib Dem Focus Team

Tel: 020 8556 8335/07922 011 434

PADDY POWER WINS APPEAL!

Paddy Power appeal victory paves way for sixth bookies in high street despite public outcry

7:00am Thursday 23rd April 2015 – Waltham Forest E-Guardian

Paddy Power has won the right to open a sixth betting shop in a high street despite public opposition.

The company was successful in appealing against a decision by Waltham Forest council’s planning committee to deny a change of use at 620 High Road, Leytonstone.

Paddy Power was granted a premises licence in October despite more than 1,200 people signing a petition against the move.

Yesterday, a planning inspector, appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities, ruled in the betting giants favour in a move a council spokesman described as “another example of an inspector not supporting local concerns regarding the clustering of betting shops.”

The betting shop will operate under the condition that it will not be open to customers after 10pm on any day of the week and CCTV is installed to deter criminal activity.

The inspector approved the application despite it adding an ‘obvious’ third betting shop to the immediate vicinity.

Following the closure of Leytonstone police station, the inspector also heard local concerns that the police presence in the area had been reduced, but said “The Metropolitan Police’s crime prevention officer did not raise this as a concern when consulted.”

The inspector continued:

I do not consider that an additional betting office within the immediate area would result in a significant alteration to the balance [of being a retail-led high street], or result in a clustering effect that would be detrimental to the retail attraction of the immediate area or wider centre.

The appellant operates a chain of betting offices, and although the use would not make a large contribution to local regeneration or have a significantly positive effect in tackling social deprivation, its corporate responsibility policies are clear and links with the local community are encouraged.

The FOCUS Team says:

Local people will be wondering what is the point of the Council spending time and resources securing changes to planning regulations, if they are going to be over-ruled by inspectors who choose to ignore local opinion.

GENERAL ELECTION – LEYTON AND WANSTEAD FOCUS SPECIAL

A Leyton and Wanstead constituency-wide, General Election special edition of the FOCUS newsletter has just gone to press, and will be delivered by our team of volunteers.

Please contact Carl Quilliam, our Parliamentary candidate, if you would like to  help his campaign.

His email address is: leytonandwansteadcarl@gmail.com.

You can also contact him via his agent, Clyde Kitson, on (010)  8534 2947 or Bob Sullivan on (020) 8556 8335.

You can access an advance copy here: General Election Special

LOCAL TUBE STATION TICKET OFFICE CLOSURES TO BEGIN

Leyton Station Ticket Office first for the chop!

Waltham Forest E-Guardian 8:01am Friday 27th March 2015

Ticket offices at Tube stations across Waltham Forest will begin to close in the coming weeks.

The office at Leyton Station, scheduled to close in April, will be the first to go, followed by Blackhorse Road, Leytonstone and Walthamstow Central.

Closure works take around a month, except Walthamstow Central which could take up to three.

Labour London Assembly Member Jennette Arnold has condemned the move, claiming the move will leave passengers with less staff support.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s plan to close all the capital’s tube ticket offices will cost taxpayers almost £134million, Ms Arnold said.

She described the cost as “staggering”.

The £134million will fund additional ticket machines in 27 London stations, four new customer receptions and the conversion of 181 ticket offices for other uses.

Jennette Arnold said:

This argument isn’t about whether staff are based in ticket offices or not.

It is about whether there are enough staff in stations to provide the good service people in Waltham Forest have come to expect, particularly the elderly and disabled who often rely more on station staff for assistance.

The closures in Waltham Forest are expected to be completed by the end of the year.

 

‘MY YOUTH BUS’ FACING FUNDING AXE

Bus ‘keeping kids off streets’ facing funding axe

Waltham Forest E-Guardian – 12:05pm Thursday 26th March 2015

A bus which visits deprived estates to help children learn, play and relax could be taken off the road due to council cuts.

The My Youth Bus is kitted out with game stations, cooking facilities and a sound system and used by dozens of young people every night.

The My Youth Bus project, run by charity Worth Unlimited, has been operating in Walthamstow, Leytonstone and Chingford since December 2007.

Funding of £33,000 is provided through the council’s Youth Activities Fund.

However, the cash is due to be cut from September this year.

Amber Bowden, 11, and Alex Brown, 14, from Buxton School in Leytonstone, raised the issue with Mayor of Waltham Forest Terry Wheeler.

They use the bus on the Cathall Estate in Leytonstone, an area well known for crime and deprivation.

Alex said:

This bus means a lot to both of us.

It is like a family on here. It is amazing and it means the world to us to be able to come here every week.

They are taking away money because they don’t actually understand what it is like for kids growing up – they think it is just a bus for a small group of kids and they are wrong.

There is always someone you can talk to on this bus – adults we know and trust.

Amber Bowden added:

We wouldn’t be allowed out if the bus wasn’t here.

The bus is as important to our parents as it is us because it gets us out.

The youth workers who come every week are amazing. There is nothing else like this around here.

Thomas Fether, 15, and Jahmal Burgess, 13, have been using the bus since it started operating.

Jahmal said:

This is something we really enjoy.

It is the only thing for us to do, we need that money.

Makiya Jacobs, 13, said:

It is fun so we keep coming.

When we come here we can have our own space – we always have fun.

It keeps kids off the streets. If I wasn’t here I would just stay indoors on my own.

Carl Clarke has been a youth worker on the bus for 20 months said:

The most important thing for us is that they have somewhere to go that isn’t the street, where they can get an education outside of the classroom,

We don’t want children on the streets or spending all their time at home on the internet.

It is about getting these kids to get the best out of themselves and some just don’t do that in traditional settings.

The bus is another opportunity for them to learn and excel.

Worth Unlimited said it would like to hear from any businesses interested in sponsoring the bus.

The council has been approached for comment.

PLANNING NEWS – LEYTONSTONE UNDERGROUND STATION

A second mini cab office

An application has been lodged at the Town Hall to use the small kiosk, inside the station concourse as a minicab office.

Local traders in Church Lane are already concerned about the number of Gold Line cars waiting for passengers, and feel strongly that there is no justication in increasing the problem by granting permission for a second mini cab operator.

If you wish to express your view you may write to:

Building Control

Environment & Regeneration

Waltham Forest Council

Sycamore House

Forest Road

Walthamstow, London, E17 4SU

Telephone: 020 8496 3000

Email: building.control@walthamforest.gov

quoting planning application number: 150598

LIBERAL DEMOCRATS SELECT CANDIDATES TO CONTEST THE GENERAL ELECTION

Liberal Democrats are taking the fight to the Tories and Labour across Waltham Forest.  The Liberal Democrat candidates in the General Election are below.  If you would like to help the Lib Dems in the General Election then please contact any of the candidates.

CHINGFORD AND WOODFORD GREEN

Anne Crook

mobile: 079847 771 487 – email: amc59@gmail.com

LEYTON AND WANSTEAD

Carl Quilliam

email: leytonandwansteadcarl@gmail.com

WALTHAMSTOW

Steven Cheung

mobile: 07872 427 778 – email: steven@stevencheung.co.uk

web: www.stevencheung.co.uk – twitter: twitter@stevencheung

 

 

POOL AND TRACK PLANNING FARCE!

Re-submitted Pool & Track plan ‘would be missed opportunity’

12:33pm Wednesday 4th March 2015 – Waltham Forest E-Guardian

Re-submitted plans for a multi-million pound investment in new sporting facilities will be a ‘wasted’ opportunity, according to campaigners.

Athletes, parents, children, teachers and councillors gathered last night to urge the council to reconsider a proposal for Walthamstow Pool and Track.

The authority and contractors Greenwich Leisure Limited were criticised for deciding not to replace a 5m diving board as part of the £25million scheme in Chingford Road.

In September plans to knock down the existing building and replace it were rejected by the council’s planning committee due to loss of amenity as the diving board, which is said to be vital for training youngsters, would be replaced by a spa and an ‘extreme sports’ arena.

But an application for the same proposal has been made, with the diving board not included.

Campaigners and other clubs say young athletes will also be disadvantaged if the proposal is approved.

A petition calling for further public consultation has been signed by 2,500 people.

Speaking at the Pool & Track last night, Orion Harriers club manager, Jane Farrier, said the planned facility would kill athletics.

A ‘well-used’ strength and conditioning room will be taken away under the new plans.

We were not consulted from day one

They are not integrating this track with the new centre and there are a number of big concerns with the new proposals.

For a start we will now have a safeguarding issue with children having to go right out of our sight to use the toilets and changing rooms.

There will be no track-side first aid.

We have no trust in them whatsoever. 

We do not dispute the centre needed to be developed,  but the emphasis has been placed on making money not improving what we already have.

We have 400 junior and 350 senior members. None of them were asked. 

Is consultation asking people what they want or telling them what they are getting?

Lesley Pearce, the teacher in charge of PE at Parkside School in Chingford, said

There is a desperate need for a large sporting venue for pupils to use.

If the council had consulted primary schools they would know we spend a huge amount of money transporting children to facilities in other boroughs.

With this amount of money they are spending – they have the chance build a major sporting hub and meet the needs of thousands of children. 

These plans are not suitable.

Walthamstow resident Amanda Connolly criticised the lack of consultation.

There is no transparency in this project. It should be about investing in the future.

Nobody has a problem with development or enterprise, but we haven’t even been asked what we need.

Green Party candidate for Chingford and Woodford Green, Rebecca Tully, said the council should not expect children to travel to other boroughs for facilities.

There are children having to travel to outside boroughs and are getting home at ten o’clock on a school night. That is not what we want.

Many members of the community in Waltham Forest feel as though they have been ignored.

Jack Byrne, 11, is a member of the diving club. He said:

It’s not just about divers, it’s about swimmers too. 

With these plans we can’t use the pool at the same time.

Before I learned to dive I would try the 5m board and it was such a thrill.

I just wanted to do more. If they take it away other children won’t get to experience that.

We don’t need a spa here.

A dedicated planning meeting will be held at Walthamstow Town Hall on Tuesday (March 10).

GLL has not responded to repeated requests for interview from The Guardian.

Please sign the on-line petition below.

View the petition here