Friday, 27 October 2017

Town Centre - month to go

The plans for the Town Centre will go before the Planning Committee on 

Wednesday 29th November at 7pm in the Assembly Hall 

- not the Town Hall as they expecting a lot of opposition to the plans. A petition of over 2,000 signatures has already been handed in.

Put the date in your diary as it is vital we fill the Hall to show the councillors this is not a popular scheme.
If you have not already submitted your objection there is still time and below are the details you will need:

Application Number: 171355

The Plans are available here

45 Selbourne Road, E17 7JR
Planning Application 171355
Some suggestions about where to concentrate objections.
Comments in italics are from the Design & Access Statement.
1.       Planning App – Full planning permission for a new Town Square and new leisure and retail, Outline Planning Permission for the 4 residential tower blocks for 500 dwellings. This is because they have not signed up a developer to build the tower blocks and it needs to be vague so the developer can say what they want to build. In other words the Planning Committee has to decide if tower blocks are appropriate to this site and conform to the London Plan, Council’s Local Development Framework (LDF) and the Town Centre Area Action Plan (which they do!).
2.       The purpose of the tower blocks is to “by reputation and by physical presence, promote Walthamstow in a wider London context and mark the location of the Town Square”. The redesign of the adjoining public space “which presently performs poorly and adds little to the enjoyment of visiting the Town Centre”.
3.       The London Plan expects Waltham Forest to build 862 units of accommodation but the council has decided to allow 12,000 units across the Borough by 2020, 50% to be affordable! There is no need for this development to help meet the London Plan target – that is already well achieved.
4.       Density permitted is managed by PTAL and the Town Centre, being adjacent to transport links, is the highest rated at PTAL 6. This allows for between 200 and 700 habitable rooms per hectare (Hr/Ha). Capital & Regional (C&R) state this development is between 115 and 164 (Hr/Ha). This needs to be checked to ensure it is correct.
5.     London Plan, which this development has to comply with, states for high rise developments: a  generally be limited to sites in the Central Activity Zone, opportunity areas, areas of intensification or town centres that have good access to public transport
b  only be considered in areas whose character would not be affected adversely by the scale, mass or bulk of a tall or large building
c  relate well to the form, proportion, composition, scale and character of surrounding buildings, urban grain and public realm (including landscape features), particularly at street level;
d  individually or as a group, improve the legibility of an area, by emphasising a point of civic or visual significance where appropriate, and enhance the skyline and image of London
e  incorporate the highest standards of architecture and materials, including sustainable design and construction practices
f  have ground floor activities that provide a positive relationship to the surrounding streets
g  contribute to improving the permeability of the site and wider area, where possible
h  incorporate publicly accessible areas on the upper floors, where appropriate
i  make a significant contribution to local regeneration.

6.       LBWF Policy CS1 identifies the Town Centre for 2,000 new homes so this is only a quarter of what they want in the centre of Walthamstow.
 Policy CS1.4 relates to an attractive and vibrant Town Centre.
7.       Town Centre Area Action Plan states “no negative impact on amenity values due to overshadowing” Objections need to prove this is not the case.
8.       Link to station – there will be a tunnel from the station to the shopping centre. I assume this can be built as they had great difficulty building the stairs from the Bus Station because of a huge pipe which is in the way. I forget if it is a sewer or water. Objections need to explore if this really can be built at an economic cost.
9.       LBWF Town Square Design Objectives state “minimise loss of open space and demonstrate that improvements provided by the re-imagined Town Square compensate for any proposals to reduce open space.” Objections need to address this issue.
10.   The consultation held by C&R last year showed a majority thought “the lawns are the most popular element of the existing gardens and there is a desire for any future proposals to retain them”. “The avenue of Limes should be retained” Check the plans against this public view. One picture seems to show some of the limes missing!
11.   Construction period – “the Mall must remain fully operational during the development” “Development proposals must not impact on the High Street Market” “Development site sits above an underground line which presents logistical challenges in construction”
At the two consultation sessions ask how this will be achieved and the delivery of all the plant and equipment to the site without clogging up the existing streets. How will the work force arrive at site?
12.   Transport – the residential will be car free except for 25 disabled spaces located in the existing car park. There will be 904 cycle spaces for the residents of the flats.
Town Centre Area Action Plan Centre Area Action Plan
Tall Buildings

Planning Apps

Only one of consequence this week. The web site is as usual barely working and the plans have not been loaded properly but it appears protruding balconies are planned. I suggest you write objecting as these always look an eyesore as they are used for storage instead of pretty boxes of flowers. Protruding balconies are also not compatible with the mainly Victorian architecture of the area. 5 storeys is excessive.


201 High Street, E17 7BH

Demolition of existing cafe (Class A3) and residential unit (Class C3)and construction of five storey building comprising ground floor retail unit (Class A1) and 8 x residential units (Class C3) comprising4 x 1 bed and 4 x 2 bed units including projecting balconies with balustrades to front and flush balconies to rear with access door at front ground floor level. Provision of cycle and bin storage at groundfloor level.

Walthamstow Wetlands Open

Walthamstow Wetlands Open

At last the wetlands is now open and today was heaving with visitors. If you drive the car park can accommodate about 70 cars and will cost £2. But why bother as the 123 bus stops outside and Tottenham Hale station is a short walk away. The Coppermill is still being renovated so it will be sometime before the viewing gallery will be open. The Engine House is open as a cafe and shop, but as it was heaving I did not try out the catering but weaved my way through the crowds and found it very quiet and peaceful away from the entrance. The reservoirs the other side of Forest Road are also open and as I have never visited this area that will be the destination for my next trip! It is extraordinary this wonderful area has just been for the anglers for so many years!

And don't forget to use the Ferry Boat Inn..........

Waltham Forest's Environment

Cllr Loakes posted this on Facebook:

Following yesterdays road traffic incident on Leytonstone High Rd, along with a recent incident in Hoe St, involving a pedestrian and the death of a pedestrian on Lea Bridge Rd just a couple of weeks ago allegedly involving a speeding car- I'm repeating my long held view that enforcement for speeding vehicles should be a power for councils in London to enforce.
Currently powers for speeding in London sits with the Metropolitan Police. Councils in London can only install the infrastructure to try and ensure speed compliance. On roads like the High Rd, Hoe St and Lea Bridge Rd, the infrastructure options are limited due to the bus routes and logistics vehicles that utilise them. Most of the road network in Waltham Forest is now 20mph- we need the powers to enforce it!
Clearly the police have never and certainly now do not have the resources to undertake such responsibilities. That is why in the Waltham Forest response to the draft 'Mayors Transport Strategy' we included the following-
'.......There is a particular need to work closely with the police to use their legislation to crack down on poor driving, speeding and mobile phone use. Alternatively, TFL and the boroughs could lobby for these powers to be transferred to councils so that they can address these important issues themselves.'
We need the London Mayor and the Government to find a way to give councils these powers and soon. I shall be writing to the Mayor and the Secretary of State for Transport next week, calling for this transfer or devolution of powers to the London boroughs as a matter of urgency.
And to the motor industry I say this; how come you can design monitors to protect a car from bumps and scraps when parking, but you can't design technology that ensures a vehicle only does 20mph in a 20mph road and automatically reduces speed when it senses a vulnerable road user up in front?
Of course my thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims and their families involved in road traffic incidents. But this continues to be an issue that can be prevented by those behind and who design 'the wheel' and where necessary can be enforced by those who want our streets to be safe.

I hope I can rely on the residents of Leytonstone and Leyton's support in this campaign. I'll be posting details of a petition shortly.

Pretty Pictures

Homebase closing

There is a view the Homebase in Forest Road when it closes will re-open as a Bunnings or will the site be redeveloped? - take your pick of suggestions until hard facts are established. It seems an odd sign to put up if the owners are going to redevelop the store!!

Hornbeam Appeal

From Stella Creasy MP's Newsletter

Help the Hornbeam Centre Help Walthamstow - Crowdfunder Appeal 1

The Hornbeam Centre on Hoe Street in Walthamstow is a hub in our community. Through its events and projects it supports many disadvantaged groups in our area.  Hornbeam nights runs social and environmental change workshops, Pop up supper clubs and Live music events supporting local businesses, aspiring chefs and musicians and workshop facilitators. 
They would love to continue providing a space to share skills and help one another and have set up crowd funding campaign to help achieve this goal. They are trying to raise £5000 to be able to provide the equipment these events require. The campaign has under 30 days to go and with only 15% of the target reached they are asking local residents for help to ensure the Hornbeam can continue to be a thriving community base here in Walthamstow. Please visit their crowdfunding page here.

Charity Campaiging

Charity Campaigning

Chestnut House consultation

From Stella Creasy MP's Newsletter

Chestnuts House Renovation: How to Have your Say & Tour 

 Waltham Forest Council has secured funding to undertake a feasibility study to restore Chestnuts House, at 398 Hoe Street. This is a Grade 2* listed building and the plan is to bring it back to use. They want to hear your ideas and have arranged two consultations and tour dates:

  • Saturday 28th October 2017, 11am-2pm, Hornbeam Cafe, 456 Hoe Street. This will be followed by a tour of the house at 2.15pm.
  • Another tour of Chestnut House will also be on Thursday 2nd November from 6.30-7.30pm

 If you would like to attend please contact Kate Cowan on:, 020 8496 6746 or turn up on the day, (subject to availability).  

BGORUG - closures

Barking to Gospel Oak Closures

Welcoming Syrian refugees

From Stella Creasy MP's Newsletter

Welcoming Syrian Refugee Families to Walthamstow- Community Meeting  

Walthamstow has a proud tradition of being a place of welcome and will shortly extend this to Syrian refugee families. Ahead of this there will be a community meeting on 

Thursday 9th November from 6.00pm to 8.00pm at Blackhorse Road Baptist Church Hall 

to help plan support for Syrian refugee families in Waltham Forest. This event will allow those interested in supporting this work to meet other local community groups, hear about plans and help coordinate community support with other groups and residents in Waltham Forest. Speakers will be from Walthamstow Migrants' Action Group, Single Housing Project and Refugee Welcome Waltham Forest and refreshments will be available. Click here for the flyer and booking info. Click here for more info about welcoming the Syrian refugee families in Waltham Forest.

Refugee Concert- Thursday 2nd November 

For a week in late October Music Action International will bring together a group of teenage refugee and asylum seekers to create and play music from their own homelands, sharing language, music styles and approaches they love, to collaborate and produce something totally unique. Regular music activity provides relief from the stresses caused by their traumatic experiences, and encourages friendships with other young people. The project culminates with a performance of their work at St. Mary’s Music Hall in Walthamstow village on Thursday 2nd November supporting the London Syrian Ensemble, and is generously supported by Martha Tilston who donated her fee from her gig in August.

Tickets available on the door and  online

Music Action International

Marlowe Road update

Marlowe Road

It is interesting this article is sceptical about the council and its consultation with residents. Cllr Miller came to the Civic Society AGM this week and seemed in a rush to leave and was not exactly engaging with residents, so I am not convinced anything has changed. I found out today from my sources that the Planning Application for the town centre will be held on the 29th November - no mention of that by Cllr Miller other than for legal reasons he could not comment on the scheme!!

Monday, 23 October 2017

Housing for All meeting

Hi Friends

I am just reminding everyone that the next WFTC Housing Action Network is scheduled for next Thursday 26th October at 7.30pm at William Morris Community Centre, Greenleaf Road. E17 6QQ . 

The Housing Crisis at the very centre of the political scene at the moment with Theresa May and Sajid Javid promising all kinds of new initiatives. Meanwhile the Grenfell survivors remain in hotels, young people are having to live in cramped shared houses, and families are still being shunted out of London.

Let's gear up to continue our Housing campaign. Let them know WE'RE STILL HERE!

The Draft Agenda is
1. Our Housing Plan - what next ( I have attached the leaflet we produced for the election in June, and a sheet of questions for council candidates. See attached) Bring along ideas.

2. Reports
(i) The Mall
(ii) Ballots before Regeneration (Corbyn's call at Labour conference)
(iii) Cladding (?)

Hope you can all make it.

Friday, 20 October 2017

97 Lea Bridge Road

To Leader of the Council Cllr Clare Coghill

Dear Clare,

For almost two years it has been publicly known that on the site of the 97 Lea Bridge Road residential development 153834 there was once a LEA BRIDGE FARM. It is marked on William Faden's map of London first published in 1788, and there are earlier mentions in the J Rocque Map of London 1745, and in the Chapman & Andre Map of Essex 1777. How amazing the discovery of this farm's remains could be for the Waltham Forest application to be a Borough of Culture. How amazing it could be for the heritage of the new Lea Bridge Town Centre.

But it is not to be, and I am beside myself with dismay. 

In spite of the efforts of local people, some Council officers and external advisers, the possibility of even searching for the remains of Lea Bridge Farm has now been permanently prevented by the site works that have been allowed by the Council to continue unabated.

The attached letter from Historic England about Planning No. 153834 (97 Lea Bridge Road) gives the news that while any remains of the eighteenth-century farmhouse are likely to be intact, "this case is an unfortunate one", and it states that Historic England "encourage close liaison in future when large development schemes come forward to the Council".

The chronology of this unfortunate case so far has been:
  • March 2015 developers produced an archaeological survey by Wessex Archaelogical Assessment highlighting the potential of the site, in an Archaelogical Priority Area, to yield evidence from several historic periods, including post-mediaeval. It was included in the December 2015 developers' major proposals to the Council for a 300-unit housing estate.

  • June 2016 Planning Committee received comments in writing and in person at Committee from myself representing Markhouse Corner & Lea Bridge Residents (MCLBRA) and others requesting further archaeological investigations accordingly.

  • 28 November 2016 the planning approval with conditions were made public, but they did not include a condition for archaeological investigation time allowance, nor even a referral to Greater London Archaelogical Advisers (GLAAS)/ Historic England.

  • 11 December 2016 I wrote to the then Leader, Cllr Robbins, copied to Lea Bridge Cllrs, requesting him to step in, since demolition was starting at the site. There was no reply.

  • I spoke to you Clare when we happened to be at the Town Hall at the same time in January, and it was mentioned when you visited Lea Bridge Ward on a walkabout with MCLBRA members.

  • On 7 January 2017 I wrote to you about the matter as the new prospective Leader, copying in local councillors, the MCLBRA and others interested in local history. You referred the matter to Rob Bristow, senior council officer in Planning on 11 January 2017.

  • I contacted John Gould of GLAAS by phone who expressed the view that Waltham Forest should have referred the Wessex survey automatically from the beginning. 

  • I wrote to you again on 15 February 2017 since I had heard nothing.

  • The matter was raised at the Lea Bridge Community Ward Forum in the spring and was recorded in the minutes.

  • At the July Lea Bridge Ward Community Forum the Council officer stated that a report was going to be available.

  • When that report was finally available at the end of August it turned out to be simply a desk-based summarised version of the original Wessex 2015 document, together with an opinion that it was too late to do any archaeological investigations due to the piling having started. 

  • On 30 August I asked local officers why the Archaeological Condition mentioned by Historic England had not been recommended by the Council back in 2016. Their response is what you now see in the attached letter from Historic England. The letter contains a depressing indictment of the Council's several shortcomings:
    • whereas piling had begun on 12th June 2017 the geoarchaeological model of the site was not supplied to GLAAS until late July;
    • GLAAS were not able to confirm their recommendation of a potential trench site because the "plans of the impacts were not to hand"; 
    • GLAAS were not in possession of details of the basement and foundation works "until later in August" because of the "presentation and speed of LBWF's online planning website" which they state "can hamper the ease of repaidly locating documents or examining them". 


  1. I believe that the Planning Committee was at fault for not specifying the planning condition at the outset. I believe the Council is at fault for not having referred the matter to the appropriate external expert authority as apparently required. I believe the delays in contacting GLAAS were inexcusable, and subsequent communication was confounded by the Council's poorly performing website.
   2. The community could not have done more to draw responsible authorities' attention to the facts and potential.

   3. Matters might have been rescued several months ago had you and Cllr Robbins taken up the matter in the early months of this year. 

   4. It would have been more helpful if you could have said outright that you weren't prepared to support the investigation of our local history, rather than just leaving the matters to drag on, incurring the developers in a second (pointless) report, local officers in chasing Historic England and raising false hopes at the Lea Bridge Community Ward Forum.


It is encouraging to see from today's news that you have expressed approval at the excellent heritage-led project at St James and the High Street. However given the huge amount of building development due to take place in the Borough especially in Lea Bridge, please advise on how you will strengthen Borough policies and practices on valuing and preserving our archaeological assets and potential. Taking account of these once-in-a-lifetime chances when major sites are being cleared, how will you improve the Borough's capacity to liaise more closely with Historic England as they recommend, and prevent any further "unfortunate" cases?

In deep disappointment I wait for your replies, and I would appreciate a copy of the Council's response to Historic England.

With thanks for your kind attention, and regards,

Claire Weiss
Lea Bridge resident

Planning Update 20-10-17

Here are some of the numerous building plans that are either underway or being planned.

161090  Holy Family School, Shernhall Street, E17 9RT

173583  Webbs Industrial Site, 108 Blackhorse Road, E17 6BH
The Mayor has bought the site for 100% affordable homes.

142872 400 Hoe Street, E17 9AA

173313 Coroner's Lodge, 126 Queens Road, E17 8QP

Pre-application - no details

173331 Caretaker's Lodge, Ive Farm Lane, E10 5HH
Demolition of existing building and construction of a 5 storey block of 9 flats.

173436  Underpass in Coppermill Lane, E17 7HG
Increasing clearance under railway to 2.4m

National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces


Christmas at William Morris Gallery

Christmas at William Morris Gallery

Woodhouse Players

Subject: REMINDER - For Services Rendered by Somerset Maughan opens next week
To: WoodhousePlayers Membership <>

As part of the ongoing commemoration of the centenary of the First World War, we present this powerful work from 1932, which explores the way in which, over ten years later, the Great War continues to blight the lives of those who lived through it.

The Ardsleys live an apparently comfortable existence in a quiet English town. Head of the household Leonard sees no reason to question the old certainties, but his children and their circle are still paying the price of war. Son Sydney served heroically but lost his sight and is now an embittered invalid with little to do but torment his emotionally fragile sister Eva, whose fiancĂ© was killed in the conflict. Another sister, Ethel, is trapped in an ill-advised war-time marriage to a struggling tenant farmer. Youngest sister Lois leads an aimless existence as one of the "surplus" women caused by the huge loss of life amongst the men of her generation. And family friend Collie has been discharged from the Navy but is proving hopelessly incompetent in civilian life. Only brash nouveau riche summer visitors Wilfred and Gwen Cedar seem immune. Over the course of a few days in late summer tragic events unfold that shatter the fragile calm 

W Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) is best known for his short stories and novels, but he was also a prolific playwright. In "For Services Rendered" he takes the conventions of the drawing room comedy and twists them to produce a savage critique of a country that has failed to deliver its promise of a land fit for heroes. When first performed in 1932 its "anti-war" message proved unpopular, but revivals since the 1990s have demonstrated the play's prescience and relevance. 

Performance Dates are:

Fri 20th October 2017, 8pmSat 21st October 2017, 2.30pm and 8pm

Fri 27th October 2017, 8pm
Sat 28th October 2017, 2.30pm* and 8pm

*The 2.30pm performance on 28th October will be BSL signed. 

Julie Rickwood
Woodhouse Players
Membership Secretary

Pavilion to become food market

Leyton Cricket Ground

Back the Bid

Borough of Culture

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Recycle your old batteries

Recycle your batteries

Duracell 9V Batteries - Tub of 10

Mayor's Draft Environment Plan

Have your say on the future plans for the environment of London.

Environment Policy

Protect the environment by supporting London as a National Park City

A map has now been published by Urban Good showing London's open spaces and water features.

Mill update

October 2017 news for our supporters

View this email in your browser


Give £10 to The Mill and we get double!

Grow your Tenner logoWe rely on fundraising and donations to keep The Mill open; from covering the day to day running and maintenance of the building to providing ongoing support to our team of volunteers, who make The Mill possible.
There’s never been a better time to give. We’re taking part in a Local Giving’s Grow your Tenner campaign. So for every £10 donation we get an extra £10 in match funding. If you add Gift Aid your £10 grows to £22.50.
£22.50 will pay our rent for one day!
The campaign starts 10am, Tuesday 17th October, and continues until the money runs out. Please put the date in your diary and look out for the link to donate from our website, Twitter and Facebook!

Halloween Fun @ The Mill

Saturday 28 October
2pm to 5pm
Dust the cobwebs off your favourite costume and join us for games and activities! Cakes on sale by The Mill Bakers. £3 for children entrance fee gives access to all activities including face painting and crafts.

Souper Wednesdays!

On the last Wednesday of the month come along and share with us some soup and bread made by our talented volunteer Nat di Maggio.  A contribution goes towards The Mill, for each bowl of aromatic soup soup sold.

The next Souper Wednesday is 25 October, 12.00-3.00pm. £2.50 Bowl of soup and bread. Open to everyone, come early, soup is available until it runs out!.


Half Term Holiday art 

Get creative with Lesley on 26 October, 2 - 4:30pm, make Van Gogh masterpieces with Plasticine and learn about a great artist and his unique vision at the same time. FREE workshop for children 6 years+. Under 8s must be accompanied. Limited spaces so booking essential. To book email or call 0208 521 3211.

Jewellery workshops

Autumn with its shorter days and longer evenings is just around the corner, why not try a nurturing activity to fill your evenings? Join our jewellery-making workshops for adults on Wednesday evenings, run by Birgit Barrett from Beyond Beading. The next session is on the 11 October, book your place now.

Tree Charter

Tree Charter

Northwood Tower

Northwood Tower

Are the hoardings fire resistance and should new blocks be built so close to an ageing tower block. Where were the planners when this awful scheme was approved!!

Dormant Assets

Use dormant assets to support local communities for a generation to come

Our second proposal is that the Chancellor use dormant assets to strengthen local philanthropy so that charities are sustainable for the long term.
The Government’s Commission on Dormant Assets recently concluded that there is approximately £1–2bn of potentially dormant financial and non-financial assets. We’ve suggested these assets be used to strengthen local philanthropic institutions, such as community foundations and local funders, to help fund small and local charities now and in the future.
Community Foundations are a growing UK success story. They encourage local philanthropy, using the funds they raise to make grants to local charities, based upon their expertise of what is needed and what works locally. They’ve already built an endowment of £500m. Match funding from dormant assets could be used to incentivise further donations from philanthropists.
Investing half of the maximum total from dormant accounts – £1bn – could generate a return of £40m per year for local grant-making in perpetuity, more if match funding was sought from philanthropists (assuming a 4% rate of return). Widening the network of endowed Community Foundations, and increasing the level of capital they hold, will generate investment returns from which small and local charities can be grant funded.
At a time when grants to charities are in decline, this is a valuable opportunity to address the sustainability of small charities so they can continue to support and help communities create opportunities for themselves well into the future.
A complementary proposal we’ve in our submission is to allow communities to use dormant assets money to purchase assets of community value, such as village halls or pubs, as set out in Locality’s Community Asset Investment Plan.
These proposals were included in our Election Manifesto earlier year. We’ve emphasised to the Chancellor that they do not require additional funding from the Exchequer, but merely the government’s support in taking them forward.

The Ideas Kitchen

Ideas Kitchen

Christian Kitchen


Tommy Anderson is planning to ‘sleep out’ on Friday 17th November and is looking for volunteers to join this activity which will raise funds for the Christian Kitchen. If you are interested, please let him know via phone- 07506733392, email 

Eat or Heat Food Bank

Foodbank Fundraiser: Canned Laughter  

Canned Laughter is a totally different kind of comedy night, coming to CentrE17 on Church Hill  on Thursday 26th October at 7pm.

Six of the biggest names in comedy come together in Walthamstow to raise food and funds much needed by the local food bank, Eat or Heat. Entry via reserved ticket only - you can get yours via Eventbright page, and on the night the entry fee is five items for the food bank or £5. If you’re lazy or late they will take your £5 of your money, with all proceeds going to Eat or Heat. A full list of items needed can be found here

The line-up features Desiree Burch (8 out of 10 Cats, Funny Women Winner 2015) and Adam Hess (Live From The BBC) Suzi Ruffell (BBC Three's Edinburgh Comedy Fest Live), Kiri Pritchard-Mclean (Russell Howard's Hour), Brennan Reece (English Comedian of the Year) and is MCed by Gabby Best (Dream Land). You can reserve your seats here: