This is just a quick reminder that, if you want to object to development on the ex-Thames Water depot site, objections need to be submitted by close of business on 7 June. You can submit an objection after that date, but it is better to hit the deadline if you can.
The ex-Thames Water Depot site on Lea Bridge Road 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. Issues you may like to raise in your objection include:
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.