Saturday, 29 April 2017

More trees being felled

The former B & Q store in Lea Bridge Road E10 (opposite the Hare & Hounds) is finally being turned into the ALDI store. Unfortunately the first action being taken is thefelling of the trees that border their property with Lea Bridge Road. 
Their corporate policy is to minimise the impact of their business on the environment, so this is a big mistake.

They need to be told to stop doing this immediately - it's the nesting eason - and not to restart it. Lea Bridge Road is highly polluted and we need the trees. Mini Holland has already stolen many street trees from us.

Complain to ALDI here:

Friday, 28 April 2017

First World War Open Day

Vestry House Museum

Garden Bridge Scrapped

Garden Bridge Scrapped

Leyton Sports Ground


I am emailing you as someone who has expressed interest in the Leyton Sports Ground.

As you may know, last year the council put in a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a large grant to improve the facilities at the Sports Ground. Unfortunately the bid was not successful however the HLF were very positive about the overall concept and gave us the feedback that we should go back to the community to gather more ideas which we are now doing, with a view to then putting in a revised bid.

Based on some initial conversations with community members we are now actively exploring the idea of including a food hub at the Sports Ground as part of the bid. Current ideas for the food hub include having a training kitchen and lots of different classes, a restaurant, café, food market and food themed activities and events.

We believe that the food hub would bring lots of benefit to the Sports Ground and to the local area, but we are really keen to hear what you think about this idea and would be very grateful if you could spare a few minutes to give your views.

Here is a short survey which will take 5-7 minutes to complete and it would be a massive help if you could take the time to do it.

Very best wishes

Tyler McGill
Interim Heritage Programme Manager
Rm 206, Waltham Forest Town Hall
Forest Road, London, E17 4JF
Description: cid:image005.png@01D036FB.A54B2180 Follow us @wfcouncil

Walthamstow Wetlands Newsletter

Wetlands Newsletter

News from Nowhere Club

Sat 13 May  7.30 for 8pm at the Epicentre

Speaker / Performer: Chris Harrison

A musical evening, featuring poems by Joseph Skipsey, a self-educated coal miner, set to music by his great-great-grandson, Chris Harrison.  Joseph Skipsey, ‘The Pitman Poet’, was born in Northumberland in 1832.  He began colliery work aged seven. Having taught himself to read & write, he published his first book of poems in 1859.  Chris has set 24 of Skipsey’s poems to music, calling the project “Carols from the Coalfields”, after the collection which Skipsey published in 1886.  The songs offer a rich & varied picture of life in the mining communities, while describing issues & experiences still relevant today.  His CDs, volumes 1, 2 & 3, will be on sale (£5 each.)

E17 Designers

Beating the Bounds


Save Lea Marshes (SLM) is organising a walk following the ancient tradition of “Beating the Bounds”. Revived in the 1990s, by the New Lammas Lands Defence Committee, “Beating the Bounds” involves blessing the boundaries of the area following pagan and Christian rites and more recent traditions. 

If you don’t know about this part of our history, come along, find out and enjoy the fun!


We will be doing the traditional “stripping of the willows” (cutting the bark off willow branches we will carry with us), from 1.00pm 
The walk will be departing promptly at 2.00pm

WHERE: Gathering on the tow path by the Princess of Wales Pub, E5 9RB

We will be walking around the perimeter of Leyton and Walthamstow Marshes, with our special guests the THE BELLES OF LONDON CITY - folk dancers with a hobby horse.
We will be pointing out the places where walking rights have been eroded and sites which are threatened by development, but there will be fun along the way.

Bring your friends and family learn about local history, and enjoy a good walk, a song or two, some dancing and good company.  There will be stopping- off points for those who do not wish to go the whole route.  

Please wear sensible shoes.  Bring water.  Dress colourfully if you like! Parts of the walk may pose difficulties for those with buggies and wheelchairs - we will try and assist with alternatives on those sections.  Dogs are welcome.

Unfortunately, we have been informed that The Princess of Wales will be shut for redecoration on the day of the walk and so recommend you eat lunch beforehand or bring a picnic. We have, however, been kindly permitted to use the tables outside the pub to prepare the willows etc.

SLM is renewing the tradition of this walk following in the footsteps of local historian Katy Andrews. She sadly passed away two years ago but we know she will be with us in spirit and very much present in the history of the area that she studied for many years.

To find out more about us go to: (or our blog

Macdonald Road

Macdonald Road

Walthamstow Gateway

Work has started on Walthamstow Gateway

Closure of Coop Bank

It takes over 2 weeks to get the paperwork to pay in via the Post Office so if you want to use the Post Office after the branch closes give the Coop a ring and get the process set up.

From Stella Creasy's Newsletter

The Closure of the Co-op Bank in Walthamstow and the Future of our Post Office Branches: Update  
Many residents who are customers of the Co-op Bank have been in touch with me following notification that the Walthamstow branch will close in June this year. I've challenged the Bank about this decision and they have told me the following:

"Walthamstow branch experienced a 12% drop in counter transactions in 2016, on top of an approximately 30% fall in counter transactions in 2015 as our customers continue to move their day to day banking transactions online and increasingly make use of contactless payments.  A total of 3,929 customers visited the branch during the past 12 months, with 54% visiting the branch only once or twice in that period.  This means that maintaining
this branch is no longer sustainable"

Whilst this means the closest Co-op Branch will now be in Wood Green, the Coop say that customers will be able to carry out a 'number' of transactions at the Post Office - given this will mean some are no longer available, I've asked the bank to further clarify what services will be open to residents at the Post Office. The Co-op have also asked all customers in Walthamstow to visit their branch before June to discuss how they intend to manage their account in future.

Given the uncertain future of the Walthamstow Post Offices due to the plans to 'franchise' these services I'm also concerned that this may further affect the facilities open to local residents. To raise these concerns and help protect access to services I will be participating in a debate in parliament on the future of the Post Office network on Tuesday 25th April in Westminster Hall. 

Leytonstone Festival is coming

Leytonstone Festival

Public Spaces Protection Orders

Dear residents,

At present Waltham Forest Council is consulting on the introduction of Public Spaces Protection Orders. If you would like to take part on the consultation, you need to look at the below link and give comments directly by 23rd April. Apologies for the late notice from me, due to the Easter holidays.  You will see the proposal is for the William Morris ward to be included. I think this will be particularly relevant to residents in some areas of our ward, including the park and to Greenleaf/ Hoe Street area.

Public Spaces Protection Order – London Borough of Waltham Forest
Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Public Spaces Protection Order?
A Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) was established by the Anti-Social Behaviour Policing and Crime Act 2014.  The Council has the power to implement a PSPO where its purpose is to stop individuals or groups committing anti-social behaviour in a public space.  The PSPO replaces Dog Control Orders, Gating Orders and Alcohol Restriction Zones.  These remain in force until 20 October 2017 when they all revert to PSPOs but with the identical enforcement powers and restrictions as the current orders.
Who can make a PSPO?
Councils can issue a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) after consultation with the Police, Police and Crime Commissioner, other relevant bodies, local businesses and residents. The emphasis is on localism.
What behaviour can be restricted?
The behaviour restricted has to be having, or be likely to have, a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality;
• be persistent or continuing in nature; and
• be unreasonable.
What behaviour is the council seeking to restrict
Spitting in the street, littering, aggressive begging, drinking in the street and public places and congregation of people associated with drugs and nuisance.
Why has the Council selected these issues in particular to consult on?
These are issues that have been identified by the Council and the partners that we work with to address problems around anti-social behaviour. They have been generated from complaints and issues raised by members of the public, businesses and key stakeholders and are associated with issues of public safety, threatening behaviour and intimidation. Some of these relate to long standing issues and can be quite complex in nature.

When is the consultation taking place?
The consultation will start on the 27 March 2017 and you have until the 23 April 2017 to participate.
How will the decision be made?
The survey responses will be analysed and the results reported back to the Council. There has already been a great deal of evidence gathered that has highlighted the impact on individuals and businesses of the types of incidents that the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) is trying to address. The Council has delegated the decision whether to implement a PSPO to the Deputy Leader & Environment Portfolio Holder- Cllr Clyde Loakes-  and the Strategic Director of Neighbourhoods and Commercial Services.
Why is a Public Space Protection Order needed?
PSPO legislation allows a Council to address a particular nuisance or problem in a particular area that is detrimental to the local community’s qualify of life. A PSPO works by imposing conditions on the use of that area which apply to everyone. They are designed to ensure that local residents can use and enjoy public spaces, safe from anti-social behaviour which includes threatening and intimidatory behaviour. There is a link on the web page to a guidance document that was published by the Home Office.
Why were the areas selected and should the areas for the Order not be increased?
When selecting the areas for the proposed PSPO, the decision was based on the locations where we were aware the incidents we are seeking to restrict were occurring and the evidence existed.  The purpose of the consultation is to ensure that we have identified the right areas and issues.  Please let us know  if you don’t think we have got this right.
What is aggressive begging?
All begging is a criminal offence and some of the most vulnerable in our society resort to this activity to support themselves in desperate circumstances.  Passive begging or gathering alms can include sitting at a location with a cup or other item placed nearby to collect money / alms.  However we intend to use the PSPO to target ‘Aggressive Begging’ only. This can include persistent and aggressive begging and pursuing  a resident in an attempt to secure money, using threatening behaviour or language, placing themselves at or near a cash point and using intimidating behaviour, to secure funds.
Is there not already legislation to deal with some of these issues already?
Fixed penalty notices to the value of £80 can be issued by Community Support Officers, Council Officers and agents with delegated authority for public urination, defecation and litter only.  Police and Community support officers can seize alcohol from street drinkers only.  And only Police Officers can deal with aggressive beggars.
The PSPO permits Police Officers, Community Support Officers, Council Officers and delegated agents to issue fixed penalty notices to a value of £100 and seize alcohol from street drinkers.  It will therefore provide for broader enforcement opportunities and resources to be deployed to complement existing powers, at a time when police resources are being stretched.
How is the PSPO going to be enforced? Is there not a danger that you could be accused of picking on some of the most vulnerable people in our society?
No. There will be a Waltham Forest PSPO Enforcement Protocol in place that will provide guidance to those authorised to enforce the PSPO, especially in handling some of the more complex situations that they may come across. We also have a duty and responsibility to the residents going about their day to day business in and the businesses in these areas.
How long is a PSPO in force for?
A PSPO is in force for 3 years from the date it is implemented.  Any changes to the PSPO area or additional restrictions will require further consultation. 
Where do I go for more information?

Information about Public Spaces Protection Orders can be found in section 2.6 of the Home Office document Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014: Reform of anti-social behaviour powers. 

Carters Steam Fair comes to Walthamstow

Carters Steam Fair in Lloyd Park

Playground Budgets

Dear Sir/Madam,
I am writing to confirm that the Council has now completed its search for
the information which you requested on 05 Sep 2016 about Freedom of
Information request - Playground budgets and closures.
The information supplied has been provided by the department responsible
for the service delivery.

.            Total budget for public play facilities (including 
playgrounds, adventure playgrounds, skate parks etc) in each of the 
following years:
•             2014-15 - £238,900
•             2015-16 - £239,900
2.            Expected total budget for public play facilities (including 
playgrounds, adventure playgrounds, skate parks etc) in each of the 
following years:
•             2016-17 – £237,600
•             2017-18 – Budget not confirmed
•             2018-19 - Budget not confirmed
3.            Number of public playgrounds and play facilities closed in 
your local authority area and  the proportion of total play facilities 
this represents, in each of the following years:
•             2014-15 - 0
•             2015-16 - 0
4.            Number of public playgrounds and play facilities you expect 
will close in your local authority area and the proportion of total play 
facilities this represents, in each of the following years:
•             2016-17 - 0
•             2017-18 - 0
•             2018-19 - 0
5.            Revenue spending budget for public play facilities in each 
of the following years:
•             2014-15 – Information not available, not possible to
separate revenue costs specifically for play areas
•             2015-16 - Information not available, not possible to
separate revenue costs specifically for play areas
6.            Revenue spending budget for public play facilities in each 
of the following years:
•             2016-17 - Information not available, not possible to
separate revenue costs specifically for play areas
•             2017-18 - Budget not confirmed
•             2018-19 - Budget not confirmed
7.            What is the primary reason for playground closures by your 
local authority in the last 2 years?
N/A No playgrounds have been closed 
by Waltham Forest Council.

Tower Blocks for Walthamstow

Can these be stopped? - it will ruin everything that is good about the Victorian scale of the buildings of Walthamstow. They will also further increase congestion in the Town Centre with little or no improvements to the transport infrastructure which has no benefits for anyone.

Tower Block for Town Centre

Tower Blocks to replace Strettons

Just time to stop this eyesore in South Grove

Too late for Lea Bridge Road

Food Festival

Barbican Garden Party

Friday, 14 April 2017

How the Planning Process is failing London

Waterworks junction



William Morris is turning in his grave - the society HQ which he set up  - The Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings

The Gherkin is slowly disappearing as newer 
developments swamp it!

Planning - even more!

Alpha Centre

This completes the plans for linking the South Grove development (when will that start - over a year since it received planing permission but is being used as a storage yard while Network Rail upgrade the Barking to Gospel Oak line), to the Walthamstow Brewery site - the hoardings are now in place but no sign yet of work starting.

Alpha Centre Plans


A mixed use development. Demolition of existing buildings and construction of buildings ranging between 2 to 16 storeys in height comprising 518 residential units and 167 sqm (GEA) of commercial floorspace for (use class A1, A2, A3, B1 and D1). Provision of associated car parking, cycle parking amenity space, energy centre, infrastructure works and landscaping.

483-487 Grove Green Road


Demolition of existing building and construction of a three storey building, including roof terrace with glass screen surround, projecting stair core at roof level with reflective steel cladding, French doors and safety railings at first and second floors rear elevation, and associated cycle and bin storage. To provide nine residential units (6 x 2 bedroom and 3 x 1 bedroom flats).

B&Q Site in Lea Bridge Road

152654, 080552, 070344

Conversion of B&Q to Aldi - how much longer before this happens?

May Fair in Lloyd Park

May Fair

Maypole Dancing

Playgrounds Under Threat

Fields in Trust

Playgrounds Under Threat

We seem to be lucky in Waltham Forest and the council still manages to find the funds to maintain and develop our playgrounds which are so important in such a congested area as ours.

Opening of new Marlowe Road Playground

Mind you ours come a poor second to Singapore!

Developing a Communications Strategy

Communications Strategy

Marshland Medicine

Marshland Medicine Saturday 13th May
Marshland Medicine is a monthly guided herb walk on Walthamstow Marshes on Saturday 13th May between 12noon-2pm. Meet at Coppermill Car Park for this season's herb rambles with community herbalist Rasheeqa. You will roam our local wild lands to explore their bounty of plant medicine and share knowledge of folklore, traditional and current uses of herbs, and responsible ID and harvesting practices.

Places are £10/£8 concessions: booking essential as spaces are limited - email or call 07784 506 494

Walthamstow Wetlands

Wonderful Wetlands 2017 Exhibition Wednesday 26th April to Saturday 27th May 

Between Wednesday 26th April to Saturday 27th May, The Mill Community Centre on Coppermill Lane will be hosting an exhibition on the Walthamstow Wetlands site. You can see works by local artists, learn from historical artefacts and look out for swifts overhead. A celebration of the wildlife, history and development of the amazing Walthamstow Wetlands.  

Maintaining a reservoir
Emptied to allow for repairs

Waterworks Centre - update

Hi everyone,

This is to let you know the good news that Waltham Forest Council has this week approved an application by Markhouse Corner & Lea Bridge Residents Association to place the Waterworks Visitor Centre and associated grounds on the list of 'Assets of Community Value'.

This will place hurdles in the way of any actions by LVRPA to sell the land, by leasehold as mooted at their Executive Committee meeting, and as reported in the Waltham Forest consultations on Lea Valley Eastside Vision (AKA Lea Bridge Town Centre).


What is Consultation Waltham Forest style?


How many examples of the council's consultation process has led to a change in the plans? I can think of none!

Definition "the action or process of formally consulting or discussing". In reality it is an opportunity to announce a plan that has already been decided!

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

1 Forest Road, Forest Works

Planning Application 170893

Demolition of existing building(s) and redevelopment of the site to provide three buildings ranging from 2 to 10 storeys in height, providing a residential led mixed-use development containing 337 residential units (Use Class C3) and 1750 sq.m (GIA) of commercial floorspace (Use Classes A1, A2, A3, A4, B1 and D2) with associated ancillary development to include 19 car parking spaces, cycle parking,hard and soft landscaping and access roads.

4-10 Forest Road E17 6JJ

Planning Application 171058

1.1 Watkin Jones Group are bringing forward proposals for a mixed-use development, including student accommodation, on land at Nos 4-10 Forest Road, Walthamstow. The proposals qualify as a Schedule 2 development under the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Amendment) Regulations, 2015, being an “urban development project” comprising more than 150 dwellings (Schedule 2, 10[b] (ii)). As a result, the proposals should be screened to determine whether they may give rise to “likely significant effects”, and if so an EIA must be carried out.

Chequers Pub Redevelopment

Planning Application 170866

The Chequers Planning Application Bruce Bar Limited:
Operational Statement Introduction

Bruce Bar Limited is a small, pub based company, operating mainly in the London area. The company is an independent family run business, formed in 1986 with the acquisition of The Rose Public House in Bermondsey. The Rose is still owned by the company today and continues to successfully trade as a pub in a very competitive market. The ancillary accommodation above the pub was converted to five flats in 2011, to provide an additional stream of income for the business. The company has a history of purchasing and investing in freehold and leased premises in unfashionable locations. Over the years the pub portfolio has grown and a significant number of failing pubs have been saved. To date the company operates 25 different premises, of which roughly two thirds are freeholds. The company currently employs around 400 employees. The company is not ‘branded’ and each pub operates individually on its own merits. It has become increasingly common for the company to extend ownership opportunities in individual pubs to senior members of their management teams. A majority of the premises owned by the company also have junior partners.

This simple format provides greater incentive for those involved to make each premises work.

Difficulties and challenges
When the company started running pubs in the 1980s and 1990s it operated a vastly different business model to the one in existence today. Beers were generic, cheap to produce and cheap to buy. The average pub goer was less discerning and it was possible to offer a much narrower range of products with higher margins of profit. Gastro pubs had not been invented and pub food, when it was available, was generally cheap to buy and simple to produce, without the need for trained chefs. Pub culture has become more sophisticated over recent years and in order to have any chance of survival, a modern pub must offer a wider choice of quality products, purchased at premium prices. The requirement to offer a quality food service during operating hours means it is necessary to staff a kitchen even when there is no demand for food. This also applies to wet sales since the cultural change in day time drinking. Pubs remain open and staffed for a majority of the day when there is little demand for alcohol. Pub trade now relies on a limited number of peak hours in the evening with the majority of turnover coming on a Friday and Saturday night. However, the fundamentals to running a good pub have not changed;- ensure the customer enjoys the experience, maximise revenue and control your costs. Whilst this sounds easy enough, there are an increasing number of factors that make these basics very difficult. Taxation and regulation increasingly contribute to tighten profit margins; and competition from everything from coffee shops, casual dining and the internet, continue to reduce the number of pub goers. A social and cultural move away from pub culture in general, with the advent of instant communication, social media and home entertainment has also taken its toll. In addition, pubs face an increasing challenge from supermarkets. Supermarkets pay no VAT on food or alcohol whilst pubs pay 20%.

As a result, supermarkets now sell more alcohol than pubs and are often selling alcohol cheaper than a pub can buy it from the wholesaler. Supermarkets can even sometimes sell alcohol cheaper than bottled water, which shows their determination to sell alcohol as a loss leader. On top of this, business rates are forecast to rise 40% nationally in the review now taking place, with the majority of the rises in London and the south-east. Increases of 100% are therefore a probability rather than a possibility in the areas that Bruce Bar operate in.

The Chequers
What works in The Chequers favour is that it is a great building. When the company purchased the pub in 2013, it had a poor reputation and was on the police and fire department ‘watch list’. The pub at that point had an uncertain future. The business has worked hard to straighten out all kinds of historical operational issues, and to emphasise and promote new retail ideas, which include the outdoor area to the side and rear of the premises, the function room, the modern British food menu, and the right craft beer, ale and wine offerings. We’ve shown that it’s possible to reverse the trends and to entice the local community back to the great British local, so that the business can begin to move forward. Despite all of the above, the company is still trying to make the best of a pub that’s historically struggled. The pub alone however is not enough to sustain The Chequers as a viable business.

When purchasing The Chequers, one of the main considerations was the separate entrance/exit to the rear of the premises, and the size of the disused yard area at the rear. It was clear that this rear yard could yield some income to support the pub as an ongoing concern and eventually contribute to the business as a whole. Most importantly, we are not developers, but are operators of licensed premises who are trying to grow a pub business in an economic climate where pubs in general are in decline. We’ve already adapted the traditional wet-led pub business at The Chequers to include additional revenue streams such as hot food sales and soughtafter accommodation in the rooms above the pub. With these new revenue streams, along with the addition of five new units on the land to the rear of the premises, we stand a chance of properly refurbishing and restoring a fabulous historic building and turning a business in decline into a modern and viable version of its former glory. The rental income derived from the residential proposal (ie. the 5 units) is the minimum amount required (to supplement our main income from the pub sales), in order to safeguard the future viability of the pub. Any reduction in units would therefore have a serious economic impact on the business and there would be a real risk of jeopardising our ability to move forward with our plans.

Welcome Centre redevelopment

Redevelopment of St Mary's Welcome Centre