Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Town Centre Decision

The Mayor wants the scheme to proceed

Capital and Regional's awful scheme for the Town Centre shopping Mall has been given the go ahead by Mayor Sadiq Khan. Despite a vast number of objections, many policies ignored and an already congested Town Centre, Bus Station and Victoria line the Mayor has agreed the scheme as presented can proceed with one change. He has forced C&R to increase the affordable housing by 10% which won't even be in the Town Centre. £7.3m has to be given to the council to build social housing elsewhere. No additional money has been found for TfL so the link to the station is in doubt.

The |Leader of LBWF Cllr Clare Coghill says of the decision: The Mayor’s decision to approve the redevelopment of the Mall in Walthamstow will radically improve the town centre, replacing the existing town square and shopping centre which is tired, underused and not good enough for our residents.

“A new and expanded Mall will give a significant boost to the area, including creating 350 new permanent jobs as well as giving our residents the opportunity to shop in the borough rather than going further afield, which has a detrimental effect on our local economy.”
The cost to residents of this decision will be years of protest, the full planning application for the 4 tower blocks has yet to come, the loss of 81 mature trees and the reduction of the town square by 32%. 
To fund this C&R will have to increase the height of the tower blocks to at least 40 storeys which will increase the number of flats created thereby making the congestion even worse.
Shoppers will have a miserable few years trying to access the Mall while the construction companies try and build 4 enormous tower blocks over the existing shops. The noise, pollution and general inconvenience will force shoppers to go elsewhere.
There is no new transport infrastructure to support all the new developments that are currently being constructed around St James Street Station, Walthamstow Central and Blackhorse Road Station.
The protests will continue so come along to the Town Square on Saturday 24th March at 2pm and help protect our precious trees.

From David Gardiner
Yesterday (20th March) Sadiq Khan betrayed the people of Walthamstow by granting Second Stage (i.e. final) approval to Capital and Regional's plans to 'redevelop' our town square.

The Mayor claims that he has listened to local people. Like the almost 3,000 of them who signed a petition or wrote individual letters objecting to the proposals before the Planning Meeting in December? Like the 10 (out of a total of 12) who presented such well-reasoned objections in their ten-minute speeches at that meeting? How about the votes of ALL the local Constituency Labour Party branches? I think Mr Khan may be suffering from a little selective deafness.

When I emailed him requesting a 30-minute meeting with representatives of the Save Our Square E17 group, which has several hundred local members, the reply I received, not from the Mayor but from Graham Clements, his Principal Strategic Planner, was that: 'given the constraints of his statutory decision-making timescale ... and the pressures of his pre-existing diary commitments, the Mayor is unable to accept'. A busy man indeed. 

But he did find time to listen to developers Capital and Regional, who would like to take over a third of the last bit of open space in central Walthamstow for their private commercial activities, move the children's playground next to the diesel fumes of the bus station and chop down 81 beautiful mature trees to make way for all that additional concrete. Not forgetting four outlandish blocks of luxury flats that nobody on even twice the average annual income will be able to afford. 

Does Walthamstow need more shops? I don't think so. Does it need luxury flats for people that have nothing whatever to do with our community? I think not.

The actual effect of this kind of development as everyone knows is to raise rents generally in the area and force a lot more of the traditional residents who have lived here for generations out to wherever they can afford to put a roof over their heads. We can now apply for the title 'Borough of Evictions' as well as 'Borough of Culture (if you don't count the closure of the libraries and a few other things)'. 

This is a deliberate policy. It goes by names like 'gentrification' and 'ethnic cleansing'. London is intended for the wealthy and trendy, not for the likes of us. This is Tory Party policy enthusiastically embraced by our manipulative and dishonest Blairite Council. If we vote them in again in May we are simply fools.

What we are witnessing is an exact parallel to the highland clearances of the 18th and 19th centuries in Scotland. The presence of poorer people does not suit those with the power and the money in London today. The entire city is being systematically made unavailable to the working class communities that have lived here for generations. All of London, inner and outer, is to be given over to the rich. What we are witnessing is the beginning of the London Clearances. That's how history will quite rightly regard it. And to the eternal shame of our Labour controlled GLA and Council's they are totally complicit in the process. 

from David Gardiner
Secretary, Save Our Square E17


Saturday, 17 March 2018

Town Centre - urgent action needed

Urgent action needed

We’ve had the letter from City Hall saying Stage 2 Approval is scheduled for Tuesday March 20th and we’ve written requesting an urgent meeting. 

Everybody now must now send a message to Sadiq Khan without delay, even short one-liners, because the objections arriving in the mayor’s office are mounting up and definitely make a difference.

Your message can say things like:

Call it in Khan. Don’t do it. Save our Square. Save our Trees. Affordable housing   - or similar!

Write to Mayor Sadiq Khan

The Mall, 45 Selbourne Road, Walthamstow E17 7JR
GLA Ref: 4306    Waltham Forest: 171355

Subject: RE: MGLA070318-5611 Meeting with the 'Save Our Square' group.

Dear Mr Gardiner
Thank you for writing to the Mayor following your exchange at the Chingford War Memorial in February, as well as for providing representations on the application for redevelopment at Walthamstow Mall and town square (including the letter from Nancy Taaffe on behalf of Save Our Square E17). Thank you also for kindly suggesting a follow up meeting to explain your concerns to the Mayor in more detail.
I am the Greater London Authority (GLA) planning officer responsible for handling this case and have been asked to write to you in response to your correspondence, and to provide a general update on the Mayor's stage 2 process.

I note that Waltham Forest Council resolved to approve the application on 13 December 2017. Prior to this, the Mayor provided his initial comments on the application to the Council on 6 November 2017 (these are available to download here: Since then, and following the Council's committee resolution, the GLA has been working closely with the applicant and the Council in order to address outstanding strategic planning issues, and specifically, to explore the potential to enhance the proposed affordable housing offer for Walthamstow.

On 7 March 2018 Waltham Forest Council formally referred the case back to the Mayor for his stage 2 decision. The Mayor now has until 20 March 2018 to consider the case and decide whether to allow the scheme to be approved by Waltham Forest Council; whether to direct that the application be refused; or, whether to take over the application in order to determine the case himself.
Accordingly, whilst the Mayor is extremely grateful for your invitation to a meeting, given the constraints of his statutory decision-making timescale (discussed above), and the pressures of his pre-existing diary commitments, the Mayor is unable to accept.
Notwithstanding this, the Mayor wishes me to assure you that he will take into account all representations received, including the points that you have raised, as part of his consideration of the application. In due course the Mayor's decision on this case will be published on the City Hall website at:
Yours sincerely

Graham Clements
Principal Strategic Planner | Development Management | Development, Enterprise & Environment

Fred Wigg and John Walsh Towers

Estate redevelopment put on hold

John Walsh and Fred Wigg Towers

Zoe Lady Hart Dyke

Dear friend,

Please find attached the publicity poster for a talk I will be giving at the Leyton & Leytonstone Historical Society meeting on Wednesday 21 March, at St John's Church Hall, Leytonstone High Road, London E11 1HH at 7-45pm. This email has a wide circulation, and for some of my more distant friends it will be more of a cordial notification of what I'm up to, rather than an expectation of attendance!

I'm delighted to say that I have now completed the biography of Zoe Lady Hart Dyke (born Millicent Zoe Bond in Leyton in 1896). Entitled Unravelling the Yarn: Zoe Hart Dyke and the Leyton Silk Road (ISBN 978-1-9998278-3-0) the book will be launched at this meeting of the Leyton & Leytonstone Historical Society.

During this month of International Women's Day celebrations, I will particularly explore background pertaining to the women in arts, craft, architecture, theatre, broadcasting, writing, horticulture and elsewhere, with whom Zoe associated in the 1930s - 1970s as part of her quest to establish, from scratch, Britain's only commercial silk farm in the twentieth century.

The biography, which also includes a Foreword by the Mayor of Waltham Forest, Cllr Yemi Osho, traces the adventures of Zoe's Bond family relations and Zoe's own family subsequent to her intringuingly precipitous marriage into the Hart Dyke baronetcy of Lullingstone, Kent. A personal interview last summer with Zoe's son, Guy Hart Dyke, who has sadly recently passed away, gave me further insights into how she was perceived by those close to her. Zoe's forays into the business world of the silk industry, her tangles with bureaucracy, and her success in gaining royal patronage are wryly examined. At the same time, I have argued for her historical achievements to potentially cast her as an inspirational woman.

The book will be on sale, priced £10, at the event, and will be available for distribution afterwards.

This has been such an exciting chapter of my life, and I am looking forward to enabling you to share in its outcome, perhaps on 21st March, or through reading the story of Zoe!

Please do get in touch.

With many thanks for your interest,


Claire Weiss
Leyton, London E10.
077 5393 2043
020 8539 2833

Friday, 9 March 2018

Marlowe Road - the Coop and the Navy Lark

Here is an interesting tale. Residents of Wood Street have had the benefits of the Plaza for a short while before the redevelopment of Marlowe Road destroyed it! Recently the first building to be completed opened as the Coop. Little known to most people, hidden away in the Town Hall, there is a department which manages the street names in the Borough. A list is kept of names that are suitable for new streets - these can not duplicate existing streets, must be acceptable to the Royal Mail's national postcode system and mean something to residents. Locally people were happy with the Plaza as a name but it was never officially an address.

When planning for the redevelopment of the Marlowe Road was underway it was clear some new street names would be required. Out of the blue the new address for the Coop became 7-8 Troubridge Square. So where did that come from! Well there is a very good answer below from the Council. 

The naming of Troubridge Square was undertaken in April 2016 in line with long standing practices whereby the developer and SNN Officer propose relevant names.  Their suitability is ultimately agreed by the SNN officer to ensure the name is unique within the surrounding area as not to cause confusion for emergency services, delivery services and other relevant service providers. The assessment also endeavours to ensure that the address has some historical relevance to the borough. Troubridge met these criteria.

This name has previously been used for a street in the Borough, “Troubridge Avenue“ in Walthamstow, as documented from the Walthamstow Historical Society website. This street was demolished and the name previously lost.

The name comes from the Ship HMS TROUBRIDGE a WW2 Destroyer and was “Walthamstow’s Ship” having been funded by residents in an early incarnation of Crowd Funding, whereby a community was asked to raise funds to buy a ship in the 1942 “WARSHIP WEEK”. The scheme was successful and Walthamstow adopted HMS Troubridge.

With regards to the name “wood street plaza” to my knowledge this had never formed part of any official address including that of the Co Op which was 164-166 Wood Street. My understanding is that the name wood street plaza was coined as part of the 2013 regeneration works when the granite blocks were installed. It would not have been possible to recognise this officially on the grounds of duplication with Wood Street which may have caused confusion.

If you need any further information please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Best wishes,

Andy Skilton
Senior Network Performance and Information Officer
London Borough of Waltham Forest
Tel: 020 8496 2531 | Ext: 2531
Mob: 07875 604 586

Council buying houses

LBWF to buy houses

Action on Air Pollution

Action on Air Pollution

Volunteers and the Law

Volunteers and the Law


Data Protection

Town Centre Survey

Please complete this survey about your views of the Town Centre

William Morris Ward Association

Subject: William Morris Ward Association

Dear Councilor Williams,
Thank you for showing an interest in the William Morris Ward Association.
We are having a preliminary meeting on the 27th February 2- 5pm at Priory Court Community Centre to set out an Agenda for the first official meeting, a date to be arranged.
The purpose of the meeting is to get to know each other, to raise issues/concerns/ideas for future discussion as well as discuss how you would like the Association to work/represent.
We will elect a Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and Assistant Secretary and to arrange for the development of a constitution and a Website.
Refreshments will be laid on.
We are going to hold our first Social event of 2018 to coincide with William Morris’ Birthday on Saturday March 24th.
We will be at William Morris Gallery on Saturday 24th from 2.30pm to 4.30pm and would like to invite all to come and have a cup of tea and cake with us to celebrate William Morris’ Birthday.
We want to use this event to get to know so many more people in our area and develop a network of volunteers who want to organise/help with our future events. 
So come along, have a cup of tea and cake and talk to us about how we can work together to put on some exciting events in the next year including a big William Morris’ Birthday Celebration in 2019.  Do pass this on to all your contacts as we would like to meet as many residents as possible.
We look forward to seeing you on February 27th and/or on March 24th, however can you please email me if you are not able to attend. Thank you.
Best regards
Peter Stanton (Temporary Chair)
William Morris Ward Association

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Town Centre Gyratory Junction

Road Works Delayed

The article above reports that the gyratory junction at the top of Selbourne Road is to be delayed by a year although the replacement bridge work is finished. According to Cllr Loakes it is due to "forthcoming developments to the wider road network" that were unforeseen. What was unforeseen? The planning for this junction has been on the to do list for years and the detailed planning must have started in 2016. In early 2017 Strettons announced they were going to build a 13 storey Premier Inn on their site and the council has been planning to replace their building for many years and the Station Car Park site was started well before the planning for the junction and the Mall development was known about in  2016, probably earlier, so what are the unforeseen developments? Even if it was any of these proposed developments the only one that I am aware of that has full planning permission is the Station Car Park site.

So what is the real reason TfL is delaying the completion of the junction by 12 months when most of the work is completed and it is clear the new layout works well?

What are we not being told?

November 2016