Thursday, 20 December 2018

Borough of Culture launch

Welcome to the Forest, Opening Night of Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture
Friday 11 January 2019
Media arrive for 5.30PM for a 6PM start
Closest Station: Walthamstow Central Tube Station (approx. 12-minute walk)

Please RSVP to Abbie Jessup at The Corner Shop PR| 020 7831 7657

On Friday 11 January 2019, the Mayor’s first-ever London Borough of Culture kicks off with Welcome to the Forest - a three-day celebration of the shared past, present and future of our corner of North East London that so many people have chosen to call home.

A spectacular light projection will illuminate Waltham Forest Town Hallcreated in a unique collaboration between musician and producer Talvin Singh OBE and video artists Greenaway & Greenaway, made with the involvement of over 1,000 residents and young people from across the borough. The Town Hall will also be the canvas for a new commission from world-renowned artists Addictive TV who have created a soundtrack of the borough from the recording of and video remixing of Waltham Forest’s rich and diverse musical talent.

Forest Road will be transformed into a neon-lit, celebratory winter carnival by locally based international festival curators Continental Drifts, featuring groups and individuals drawn from the borough and beyond.

A massive kinetic light sculpture will be installed in Lloyd Park. ‘Nest’, the collaboration between artists Marshmallow Laser Feast and composer Erland Cooper will transform the familiar into the fantastical, with a choreographed light display of epic proportions set to a soundtrack inspired by the woodland, featuring the voices of 1100 school children and choirs.

International in scale and ambition, but telling the local stories of this place, it's time to say to the world "welcome to the forest".

Media wishing to attend must RSVP by 2 January 2019. Further information regarding access and vantage points will be provided closer to the time.

Abigail Jessup
Press Assistant

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Town Hall Campus Development


The Cabinet will be discussing their plans to redevelop the Town Hall Campus which includes the Magistrates, Town Hall and Assembly Hall. They expect work to start in 2020. That is at the very least optimistic as Brexit is likely exacerbate the skills shortage and put up costs. A lot of equipment will be needed for this site and the 3 in the Town Centre. To "avoid " traffic disruption all construction traffic will be routed from the North Circular via Chingford Road - don't look for a quiet drink in the Bell!!

The total cost of the scheme (if I have read the Cabinet paper correctly!) is £65m. 585 flats will be created. The Town Hall will have a makeover whose costs have already risen from £13.5m to £16.5m.

To get 50% affordable housing and additional £5.3m has to be found from somewhere!

Town Hall regeneration project

Planning Updates 11-12-18


The planning officer who has been dealing with the Town Centre development has taken up a new job at the LB of Sutton.


The ex Poll Tax offices in Hoe Street are to be demolished and 91 new flats provided in a tower block, height unspecified, but if you count the floors in the picture it is 17 storeys. WFN says a planning application has been submitted but it will be some weeks before the planners will get it registered, or else it will be fastracked and clash with Christmas so everyone forgets to put in their objections within the 21 days! Either way we don't have access to the facts!!

Access will only be via First Avenue which is a narrow residential street and on the other side of the railway access to the Central House development is also via narrow residential streets like Stainforth Road and St Marys Road. Tell your friends not to move into this area for the next few years!!

A key objection will be how they think the road network will cope with the construction traffic to the Mall, Central House, Juniper House and the Town Hall Campus all scheduled to start in 2020. Mind you commercial companies know Brexit will damage their plans and the lack of skilled builders will also play a part!


The Planning Committee on the 4th December 2018  approved the closure and redevelopment of the Blackhorse Road Car Park. The development will be 5 to 21 storeys and contain 350 flats.

CRATE - St James Street E17 7PJ by Tesco  - 183259

They also approved 15 large containers 2 storey high which will comprise workshops on the redundant car park.

Sample title


8/9/10 Church End - Welcome Centre, St Mary's Church  - 180314

To fund the refurbishment of St Mary's 11 flats will be constructed by demolishing the existing houses and redeveloping the Welcome Centre.

Monday, 10 December 2018

Festive Sing a Long this Sunday in Lloyd Park

Come and join the battle to save the Town Square trees

Dear Save Our Square supporter, 

Saturday 15th December, 1pm onwards:

1) The Tree decorating event down at the trees. Please see the attached flyer and circulate amongst your friends and family. We are encouraging people to just stop by and celebrate the trees in this Christmas month. These trees are critical to the development in the square and another year they are still standing is a victory for them and us. 

Can you drop off a donation of (bought or home made) mince pies to our stall on the day? If you can drop off some mince pies can you let us know asap.

Can you spare half an hour on the 15th to help us on the stall?

Upcoming event

Saturday 26th January - PUBLIC MEETING

2) A flyer for a public meeting which will be taking place.  We have invited a Sheffield tree campaigner who will explain how they organised and what we have to consider in our campaign. 

What you can do:

Save Our Square campaign resources and links

Social media links
Please follow us on twitter with @SaveSquareE17 and on Facebook 



Friday, 30 November 2018

Planning Application updates

Planning Application 183671

Nita Villa and Dellwood, Forest Rise E17 3NN

Back in 2006 an attempt to build a 9 storey block (2006/1330/OUT) was blocked after a planning inspector rejected the plans partly on the grounds the site was the buffer land to Epping Forest an SSSI.

Now that TfL and Mini Holland have wrecked the Whipps Cross roundabout another plan has emerged. The plan is to demolish the 2 houses and build a 5 storey block with 9 flats. If you don't want this development then send in your objection to the planning department.

Planning App 183424   Webbs Industrial Site, 108 Blackhorse Lane

Blackhorse Yard
The Mayor is planning to build 359 affordable flats on this site. I thought when the Mayor purchased the site it was for Social Housing. Oh well it doesn't matter as he is flogging off the Blackhorse Road car park to Barretts (Blackhorse Point) for private development. Why is it the Mayor and the Government can't agree a way of solving the social housing problem - answers on a postage stamp!

Now to the detail - 1 to 15 storey blocks with plenty of flexible floor space - I assume workshops! Looks liked the usual uninspiring architecture with the inevitable amenity space i.e. balconies!! 

Good Parks for London 2018 Report

Good Parks for London 2018 Report

Town Centre Gyratory

It always surprises me how many times TfL get it right!!?

Dear Stakeholder

Between 22 June and 3 August 2018, we consulted on proposals to change bus operations at Walthamstow gyratory. I wanted to make you aware that we have now published our consultation report and our response to issues raised document.

544 people responded to the consultation with 53 per cent of respondents in favour of removing bus stop AP, with 34 per cent opposing. 52 per cent of respondents favoured proposals to relocate the north and southbound 97 and 357 from the bus station to Hoe Street, with 37 per cent opposing. After considering all responses, we plan to proceed with the scheme as proposed with the changes due to be implemented in December 2018.

If you have any further questions regarding the scheme, please do not hesitate to contact me.

The consultation report and response to issues raised document can be found here:

Yours faithfully

James Pickard
Local Communities & Partnerships
Transport for London


We now have reliable information that the sublease that London Overground holds on the six
remaining Class 172 2-car diesel trains from West Midlands Trains (WMT) expires in December and
that WMT needs these units in January. They all need postponed ‘C6’ heavy overhauls and universal
toilets to be fitted before WMT can use them. Transport for London (TfL) will only say that they are
still in negotiations with WMT to extend the sublease.

There have been several hiccoughs in the Class 710 mileage accumulation trips, the latest being a few
days ago. More trips have been scheduled for Monday 26th November but experience shows that
does not mean a lot. 710 265/266/267 have been out on Network Rail tracks. Arriva Rail London
(ARL) driver trainers have just completed their own training on the Class 710 units that are still at
the Network Rail national test centre at Asfordby. When Bombardier can officially deliver a unit to
ARL, platform gauging trips (with step-plates fitted) and driver training will begin.

To try and protect the weekday service, TfL have withdrawn two diesel units from weekend service
for additional maintenance time, cancelling their trains and providing half-hourly “supplementary bus
services” by way of replacement. On Saturdays, out of 139 scheduled trains, there are 45 planned
cancellations. On Sundays, out of 116 scheduled trains, there are 43 planned cancellations. TfL say
they are negotiating with Network Rail to introduce a temporary weekend timetable with a regular
20-minute frequency, to replace the current irregular intervals in service. While the weekday service
has performed better since these measures were introduced, with only a handful of cancellations on
average, on Wednesday 21st November there were 18 unplanned cancellations out of 140 scheduled
trains, all due a defective unit.

Last week, three Assembly Members submitted eleven questions to the Mayor who should answer
within a week. Also last week, BGORUG obtained coverage in three local papers and participated in
an ITV programme being made with Christian Wolmar.
On 21st November, a question about the service was asked at the TfL Board meeting. This was dealt
with by Mike Brown (Commissioner) and G Powell (Director of Surface Transport). See the webcast
on the London Assembly website (from 41 mins 50 secs.). Draw your own
conclusions of the picture painted. An astonishing claim was made that 10-year old trains (actually
only 8-years old) are “very old”. None of the board members asked any questions to probe what
they were being told. They do not seem to understand what even one cancellation means on a 15-
minute frequency service. It might be on the tube map, but it is NOT the tube!
Within the papers of the same board meeting is the statement- "...rail income (to 15/09) is £5m
above budget owing to London Overground receiving contractual payments from Bombardier for
delayed delivery of trains." See
pdf … - Page 110. BGORUG would claim that that some of that money should be used to
compensate regular passengers for the last three years of near continuous disruption. Discussion of
the Class 710 issue was deferred to a panel meeting on 13th February!

Borough of Culture Programme

All you need to know about the Borough of Culture

Borough of Culture

Launch Season for the London National Park City

London National Park City Launch Season

Closure of the booking office at Wood Street Station

Wood Street Station Ticket Office Closure 

Good Afternoon Everyone:    I think you will support us in our concerns at TFLs decision to close the Wood Street Station Ticket Office.  After spending all that money on building a new Ticket Office they now want to close it.  Its totally unbelievable what they are doing.  If they knew they were going to close it why didn't they spend all that money on installing the much needed lifts at the Station. 

If like me you would like to have your say about the Ticket Office Closure you can do so in the following ways:

By Post:  London Travel Watch, 159 Union Street, London, SE1 0LL

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Strettons to become an hotel


The Strettons office at the junction of Hoe Street and St.Mary's road is to become an 11 storey hotel and 5 storey office block. Not only is this an inappropriate site for such a development as it is almost inaccessible for construction traffic and it is totally out of scale with the surrounding 2 storey Victorian Terraces.
Please send in your objections to the Planning Department before the 8th December 2018.

Planning Dept:

Strettons wrote in 2017 saying it would be a Premier Inn and be 13 Storeys and this is the image I produced then to object to it.

After extensive consultation with the planning officers and limited consultation with the public they have reduced it by 2 storeys to 11.

It will now look like this but whether it will be a Premier Inn is not mentioned in the planning documents.

View from Selborne Road gyratory junction

View at the junction of St Mary's Road and Hoe Street

View down St Mary's Road

Below is the Civic Society's objection to this development:

Brett McAllister
Development Management
The Magistrates
1 Farnan Avenue
London E17 4NX

Dear Mr. McAllister,

Application No: 183632
189-203 Hoe Street, Walthamstow, London E17 3AP

It is unusual but this application has been well presented and public consultation has been better than normal but no real effort was made to engage the community hence only 23 responses.

1.     Construction Issues
a.     Neighbouring developments – In the WSP document Outline Construction Logistics Plan Paragraph 3.2.2 and 3.2.5 refer to neighbouring construction sites. It is prepared to “assist in the assessment of freight consolidation opportunities and cumulative impacts of construction operations in the area”. As a construction company has not been appointed this seems over optimistic!
b.     Other sites – If the C&R Town Centre development goes ahead, which is due to start in 2020, and go on for at least 5 years the Hoe Street area will be heavily congested with construction traffic. Juniper House is also up for development and this will create more construction traffic. Currently this part of the Town Centre has been a building site for at least 2 years waiting for the gyratory system to be completed and Walthamstow Gateway. No sooner will they be completed and Central House will start in March 2019 and go on until June 2020. Juniper House will start in 2019 and go on well into 2020. There are plans to rebuild Walthamstow Central which will also become a building site for many years. All this means residents of this area will have experienced building site conditions for 10 years or more. This is unacceptable and makes Central Walthamstow a very unattractive place.
c.     Central House has very limited access which means St Mary’s Road and Stainforth Road will have to bear all the construction traffic. Church Hill is limited to 7.5 tonnes so this will mean increasing the number of lorries to service the site. This area was held up by the council as a great Mini Holland success. The quieter roads created will now be the main routes for the construction traffic meaning the Mini Holland expenditure was a waste of public money.
d.     The corner of St Mary’s Road and Hoe Street is a major pedestrian route to the station so what restrictions are going to be put in place to protect pedestrians trying to get to the station?
e.     St Mary’s Road is a dead end with Victorian terraces either side so how is the construction traffic going to turn around and what plans will be in place to ensure one way traffic to allow the lorries in and out of Stainforth Road?

2.     Design
According to LBWF Urban Design Supplementary Planning Document paragraph 5.7.3 states:

In some places within the borough, such as some Victorian or Edwardian terraced streets, the character is very distinct with strong building ‘rhythms’ and a prevalence of unifying features, materials and detailing. New development should therefore take these into account in the design response, by seeking to reflect the prevailing scale, proportion and detailing of buildings, albeit not necessarily by way of a pastiche response to context.

How can an 11 storey modern glass and brick tower block come any way to meeting this requirement? Another tower block so close to Hoe Street is going to change the whole nature of the area and overwhelm the existing 2 storey Victorian Terraces in St. Mary’s Road. This is the road that leads to the historic Walthamstow Village visited by hundreds of tourists! This cannot be allowed to happen and is contrary to council policies.

3.     Fire Precautions
a.     Grenfell - After the Grenfell disaster it is vital a proper analysis is made of how the emergency services will access this very restricted site. Until the Grenfell Inquiry is completed we don’t believe any tower blocks should be built until it is fully understood why the regulations allowed the Grenfell disaster. A fire at this very congested point would have a massive impact on the whole Town Centre and the risk is too great so this development should not be approved.
b.     Fire Safety - It is up to the planners to make sure the design of this building meets the necessary fire precautions such as a fire lift and sprinkler systems etc. Plans need to be in place to show how evacuation of the building can be achieved and how the emergency vehicles can access it and get the necessary water supplies to fight a fire.,

4.     Transport
a.     Victoria Line Congestion - Between Tottenham Hale Station and Walthamstow Central there are over 5,000 apartments being constructed or in the planning process. The Victoria Line is already at capacity with trains every minute. This hotel with no car access is going to create a lot of tube journeys and will just help to congest the line even further. There is no more capacity in central Walthamstow for buildings that create additional tube journeys. People moved to Walthamstow because it was cheap and it was easy to get into central London. Now the tube is getting dangerously overcrowded before many of the new properties are completed and TfL have no plans for increasing the capacity of the line. The council must stand up to the GLA and demand a stop to these developments as the transport infrastructure cannot cope with the forth coming demand.
b.     Road Network - Hoe Street is often jammed with traffic as it is a major route through the Borough. This development cannot be accessed from Hoe Street without blocking the road and the buses. The only access to it is through quiet residential streets which have been made quieter by Mini Holland. This scheme cannot be built without destroying the environment of the local residents and having a significant impact on the people living on the route of the construction vehicles from the North Circular up Chingford Road into Hoe Street. Thousands of residents along the route will have their lives disrupted by all the construction traffic trying to head to the Town Centre for the various developments that are being proposed. As noted earlier this is going to go on for over 10 years.

5.     Servicing the Site
a.     Construction Traffic - Very severe restrictions will need to be put on the construction traffic to ensure the Town Centre does not jam up and the lives of the residents in the surrounding roads is not made a misery. All construction staff will have to arrive at the site on public transport which will just congest the buses and tube more. The Planning Committee will need to see a fully worked up transport plan to show how the construction traffic will be managed and which streets disrupted.
b.     Hotel Traffic - many people arrive at a hotel by taxi as they have luggage to be carried and it is not clear what route the taxis will take and how many extra vehicle journeys this will take. They cannot be allowed to drop off in Hoe Street as that will just add to the existing congestion.

6.     Overshadowing
The Daylight and Sunlight Study show that over shadowing is an issue but is played down with words like “The results confirm that the proposed development does not fully comply with the BRE numerical recommendation.” Why should some residents lose their light just so that Strettons can fund a new office? This is wrong and further proves a tower block in this location is not acceptable.

We urge you to reject this plan as it is out of keeping with the existing low rise Victorian terraces, is too congested a site and access is only through existing quiet residential streets. This is a bad scheme for the Town Centre and for the adjacent residents.

Yours sincerely,

Adrian Stannard
Planning Watch

Friday, 26 October 2018

New Schools in Lea Bridge Road

Thames Water 150a Lea Bridge Road Leyton London E5 9RJ

Redevelopment of the site for the construction of a new two-storey primary school building including a nursery, and the construction of a new three-storey secondary school building, together with associated external play areas, sports grounds, ball courts, multi-use games areas, vehicle access, parking, pick-up and drop-off areas, cycle parking, and landscaping (Departure from the Waltham Forest Local Plan). An application is also made for the provision of temporary school accommodation in the form of one- and two-storey temporary school buildings.

150A Bridge Road, E5 9RJ

My objections to this planning application are :

1. Metropolitan Open Land - there is no point in having these designations if they are to be ignored as soon as someone comes along wanting to develop the land. 

2. Site Location: - Lea Bridge Road has been congested by traffic for decades so it is not sensible to develop the area with residential and schools. This land is the flood plain of the river Lea and as such should be kept as open land and passed to the Lee Valley Park Authority to incorporate into the park.

3. Aquifers - Thames Water maintain water storage aquifers under the site and these should be given priority over any other development. The land above should be kept clear and used for ecological purposes and wild life as a barrier to the the urban environment which further up Lea Bridge Road is heavily congested. This needs to be the green lung for the over developed surrounding area.

4. Transportation - access to the school will be via a variety of means and all of which involve using the heavily congested Lea Bridge Road. It will just cause stress to the pupils and teachers attempting to reach the school on time each day. It will also be essential there is a staggered exit from the school at the end of the day as the transport routes will not be able to cope with 1,800 pupils all leaving at the same time. All this will have an effect on the mental well being of the staff and pupils.

5. Bus Route - TfL cannot afford to run the 48 bus route so are proposing to close the bus route which many pupils and staff would use to get to and from Walthamstow Central. The closure of this route will congest the other routes making it a misery to travel by bus to and from the proposed school.

This is completely the wrong site for a school which will attract thousands of transport movements each day and should be refused.


Monday, 1 October 2018

Town Centre not an Asset of Community Value

The Council has decided not to register Walthamstow Town Centre as an Asset of Community Value - no surprise there as they want to fell 81 mature trees and allow the open space to be reduced by 32% to enable Capital and Regional and Mount Anvil to destroy the Town Centre by 7 years of building works and the construction of 29 storey tower blocks just to balance the Council's budget.

Dear Sir,
Town Square, Selborne Walk, Walthamstow, London E17

I am writing to confirm the outcome of the Council’s decision regarding the above. This follows the nomination application which was received on 29/07/2018.

Having considered the nomination submitted by The Waltham Forest Civic Society as nominee, the Council has categorised this nomination as unsuccessful. The reasons for the Council’s decision were:
The proposals in relation to the Town Square involve the extensive re-landscaping of the Town Square space in order to improve the function of the space relative to the Mall to which it leads. The existing Square measures approximately 13 940 sqm in area. In line with the approved planning permission under file reference 171355, 4,437 sq.m of the Square will be built over as a result of the extension of the Mall. This equates to approximately 32% of the land within the Town Square which will no longer be in use as open space and there is therefore no realistic chance of the current use continuing in relation to that part of the land.

Accordingly the Council has concluded that it cannot be considered realistic to think that the whole of the land subject to the above nomination can continue to be used in a way that will further the social wellbeing or social interest of the local community.

Consequently the Council will now add this nomination to the List of Unsuccessful Community Nominations for a period of five years. This list is
available to view on the Council’s website by searching under Assets of
Community Value.
Yours sincerely,
Jane Custance
Director of Strategic Planning and Development

Saturday, 22 September 2018


Dear community champions,

Thank you for all of the work you do to help keep our neighbourhoods clean, green and safeJ

We know that clean streets are one of the most important things to our residents. Earlier this year we launched an innovative new technology which allows you to report issues such as fly-tipping and dog fouling on the go straight from your mobile phone.

If you’re on Social Media, you can quickly report issues 24/7 by visiting the Waltham Forest Council Facebook webpage page and pressing ‘Send Message’ at the top of the page. This will open a Messenger conversation with a Chatbot, which guides users through the process of submitting a report.

Twitter users can report issues by sending a Direct Message to @WFTellWalt

Once a report has been submitted, you receive a unique reference that can be used to track online. You also have the option to receive updates via Messenger.

The new tool means that your reports will go straight through to the council crews on the ground speeding up response times and ensuring our streets are even cleaner.

Please help us by reporting neighbourhood issues to us and by telling you friends and neighbours about the new reporting Chatbots!

Wajid Ali
Senior Campaigns Officer
Waltham Forest Council
Room 224
Waltham Forest Town Hall
Forest Road
London E17 4JF

Tel: 020 8496 8492

BoC Signature

North London Waste Plan - update

North London Waste

The Enchanted Garden

The Enchanted Garden

Decling Park Maintenance - your evidence needed

Declining Park Maintenance

Save Chef's Corner

Dear friends and neighbours

I have just signed the petition "Save Chef's Corner" on Cann Hall Road, Leytonstone.

£40,000 could be spent on this design and I want to ask if you could add your name too. I don't know about you but I don't consider this design to be appropriate for the first Borough of Culture!

This campaign means a lot to me. The more support we can get behind it, the better chance we have of succeeding.  If the council goes ahead regardless of local opinion, some direct action would be the order of the day. See you there!

You can read more and sign the petition here:

Thank you!


P.S. Can you also take a moment to share the petition with others? It's really easy – all you need to do is forward this email or share this link on Facebook or Twitter: