After much delay, I have been informed that Waltham Forest Cabinet will be debating the Lea Valley Eastside Vision at the next Cabinet meeting on 20 June. The agenda will be available a week before the meeting, by clicking on the relevant meeting here: http://democracy.walthamforest.gov.uk/mgCalendarMonthView.aspx?XXR=0&M=6&DD=2017&ACT=Go. The meeting is at 2pm, so I appreciate that it will be difficult for many of us to attend, but I hope to register to speak and if any of you are able to come along and support me that would be very welcome.
The ex-Thames Water Depot
Although this petition focuses on the land around the Waterworks, I thought you might be interested to know about plans to develop another nearby area of Metropolitan Open Land that, historically, was part of Leyton Marshes: the ex-Thames Water Depot site on Lea Bridge Road. This was bought by the Education Funding Agency for just under £40 million and, despite opposition from Waltham Forest Council, two academy chains have submitted a planning application to build two free schools on the site. You can view and comment on the application by clicking here: https://planning.walthamforestgov.uk/Planning/lg/plansearch.page?org.apache.shale.dialog.DIALOG_NAME=gfplanningsearch&Param=APP.Planning and entering 171408in the Application ID box. If you wish to object - and I hope you do - then objections need to be submitted by 7 June.
Issues you may like to mention in your objection are as follows:
1) It’s Metropolitan Open Land and flood plain, so should not be developed. The applicant says there will be more green space but these will be school playing fields and the public will be denied access to them.
2) They are proposing two free schools. The secondary school is being proposed by an academy chain that has no experience of running secondary schools. The school is in the wrong location to meet the need for school places identified by the London Borough of Waltham Forest.
3) The schools will be built next to a busy and polluted road, which is bad for the health of the children attending the schools. The traffic taking children, teachers and support staff to and from the school will also increase pollution and the volume of traffic on a road that is already gridlocked at peak times. Turning into and out of the site will also be challenging and the cycle path is on the opposite side of the road so that children who do travel by bicycle they will still have to cross a major road, stopping traffic in the process.
4) There are significant ecological concerns. The site and the area surrounding the site is full of Giant Hogweed, which means the schools will need to continually spray with glyphosate (with detrimental health effects for the children) or let the children play amongst the Giant Hogweed (with detrimental health effects for the children). The site is right next to the Waterworks Nature Reserve and the light pollution and the noise pollution will disrupt this haven for wildlife and for human users. There are also plans to chop down a number of mature trees, including wild cherry trees and hornbeam trees.
This is another attack on Metropolitan Open Land, and on the area knows as Leyton Marshes in particular. Waltham Forest Council oppose the plans (you may have noticed the Lea Valley Eastside Vision made no mention of schools on the site) and will, I’m sure, welcome local opposition.
Thank you for all you do to protect our green spaces.