Tuesday, 11 July 2017

MINI HOLLAND update 11-7-17


Maybe someone more techy than me can explain why the council is using an Icelandic web address to consult on more Mini Holland plans! According to wikipedia .is is Iceland's Top Level Domain name!


Wood St Junction
  • Continuining work to realign the kerb line, install off street cycle tracks and construct a new footway
  • Continuing work to install the new traffic signals as part of the work to convert the Whipps Cross roundabout
  • New lighting has been installed and is awaiting connection
  • Work will take place in the road verge, and will have a minimal impact on traffic. Expected completion late spring 2017
Upcoming - Conversion of part of the central reserve in Leabridge Rd at the Wood St junction to create temporary space for vehicles during further works. During these works which are anticipated to take one week there will be lane closures on Leabridge Rd, Whipps Cross Road and on the roundabout.


OBJECTIONS TOdmconsultations@walthamforest.gov.uk

 Copy in your Councillors so they can lobby against this scheme.

Click here to find Planning Application 171355

Development Management
Sycamore House
Town Hall Complex
Forest Road
London E17 4JF

Dear Sir,

Application No: 171355   45 Selbourne Road, London E17 7JR

Having studied numerous planning applications over the years this one has been exceptionally badly handled by Capital and Regional. Their first attempt at public consultation last year boiled down to “what type of bush would you like” – they refused to discuss anything but the landscaping. There was blatant misleading information as we were told the avenue of lime trees “would not be touched as they are listed”.

The attempt this year was even worse as it was just a montage of the various development sites in the town centre with no detail of the proposed scheme. Seeing as officers would have been in discussions with them for at least a couple of years that was insulting to residents.

The officers formally logged the planning application in April but it was only made public in late June with a 21 day for objections. In that time there could have been meaningful consultation with the public explaining in great detail what is proposed and its implications for town centre users. After we complained to the Chief Executive the plans were moved to the consultation site but it should not have needed our complaint to achieve access to the plans.

Capital and Regional have made no effort to engage with the public and for that reason alone their scheme should be refused.

We wish to object to the above application on the grounds of poor design and damage to the street scene and loss of open space.

1.     Town Square
With the increase in numbers of people expected to use the Town Square, 500 extra dwellings in this development let alone the others in central Walthamstow amounting to at least 2,000 dwellings, it makes no sense to reduce the open space. It is contrary to the London Plan which states:

7.16 The quality of the public realm has a significant influence on quality of life because it affects people’s sense of place, security and belonging, as well as having an influence on a range of health and social factors. For this reason, public and private open spaces, and the buildings that frame those spaces, should contribute to the highest standards of comfort, security and ease of movement possible. This is particularly important in high density development (Policy 3.4). Open spaces include both green and civic spaces, both of which contribute to the provision of a high quality public realm (see Policy 7.18). The character of the public realm that leads into major green spaces, especially for pedestrians is key to the integration of green infrastructure and landscape into the urban fabric. Legibility and signposting can also make an important contribution to whether people feel comfortable in a place, and are able to understand it and navigate their way around. Ongoing maintenance of this infrastructure should be a key consideration in the design of places and secured through the planning system where appropriate. Managed public spaces in new development should offer the highest level of public access.

The proposed plan fails to meet this objective. People no longer feel safe with tower blocks looming around them, the amount of open space is being dramatically reduced and what is left is being built on i.e. playground, fountains etc. With ever more people being encouraged in to the centre the open space has to be increased not reduced.

Tall buildings close to Selbourne Road will result in a loss of the view of the Town Square and reduce the impact and benefit of the of opening up and greening of the area contrary to the London Plan policy.

The Wood Street water feature only lasted a couple of years before it was completely removed making a significant saving for the council. This is what will happen with any water feature in the Town Centre – the council will not be able to maintain it and it will soon look an eyesore.

2.     Trees
The loss of trees in the avenue of Limes is pure vandalism. Residents enjoy these mature trees and always state they want them to remain. These plans destroy large areas of the avenue which will not be replaced by re-planting. It takes decades for trees to look and have the environmental benefit these trees provide and must not be destroyed. Again it is contrary to the London Plan.

7.17 The public realm should be seen as a series of connected spaces that help to define the character of a place. Places should be distinctive, attractive, and vital and of the highest quality, allowing people to meet, congregate and socialise, as well as providing opportunity for quiet enjoyment. They should also, wherever possible, make the most of opportunities to green the urban realm through new planting or making the most of existing vegetation. This will support the Mayor’s aims for two million trees to be planted in London by 2025 and, to secure additional greening in the Central Activities Zone (CAZ) to help mitigate the urban heat island effect (Policy 5.10). Encouraging activities along the waterways can also contribute to an attractive townscape and public realm

3.     Town Centre Design Objectives
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.” Clearly by reducing the open space and destruction of the trees this objective is not met.

4.     Density and Massing
The 4 proposed tower blocks, being huddled together in one corner of the whole Mall shopping site, clearly create an unacceptable cluttered view because of the massing of the blocks. Despite the PTAL argument most people will see that these blocks are close together and very dense and not attractive. The plans as presented show 4 blocks squeezed into one corner rather than laid out across the whole site. If 4 blocks are needed the Mall should be demolished and the whole site properly designed to layout the tower blocks in an attractive way with decent spaces between them.

5.     Fire Risk
In the case of a fire taking hold in one of the tower blocks there is not enough room for the emergency services to reach people trapped in the blocks.

6.     Design
One of the reasons why Walthamstow is proving so attractive is its miles of Victorian and Edwardian houses. These are normally two storeys. The market by definition is at ground level along the High Street and is a major attraction for visitors and residents. New building should be restricted to 5 or 6 storeys to blend in with the surrounding area. Clearly 4 tower blocks including one at 29 a storey fails completely to blend in to its surroundings.

Again this plan fails to meet the objectives of the London Plan Section 7.7
C  Tall and large buildings should:
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, improves the legibility of an area, by emphasising a point of civic or visual significance where appropriate, and enhances the skyline and image of London
e incorporate the highest standards of architecture and materials, including sustainable design and construction practices
f has 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.

D  Tall buildings:
a should not affect their surroundings adversely in terms of microclimate, wind turbulence, overshadowing, noise, reflected glare, aviation, navigation and telecommunication interference
b should not impact on local or strategic views adversely

7.     Design and Access Statement
The Design and Access Statement says 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”.
This is wrong and irrelevant. Everyone who needs to know where the Town Centre is knows it and does not need an eyesore tower block to show the way. Ilford has an even higher block and the result is miserable and tatty surroundings to a mediocre town centre. The current town square with open space is enjoyed by numerous visitors, in particular parents with children who can let them play on the grass mounds. The proposed replacement will not add any enjoyment to the cramped and overcrowded new open space.

8.     Underground Line
It goes without saying the tube line that runs under the site must be protected from any disturbance – remember when the Link Road was built under the Green Man roundabout the Central Line tube tunnel was accidentally bored into. This is a very tight space for 4 tower blocks and there is a real danger to the tube tunnels. It is not worth the risk allowing these towers to be built especially as people will be reluctant to move in after the Grenfell fire.

9.     Shopping Mall
Capital and Regional want to keep the shopping centre open to ensure they don’t lose revenue, but at what risk to shoppers?  How can 4 tower block foundations be piled without disturbing shoppers and staff in the shopping centre?  If it is disrupted too much people will find other places to shop; easy via the Victoria Line and bus network, so the existing jobs will be under threat – again this is not a price worth paying for a badly designed scheme.

10.  Construction Traffic
What restrictions will the council be putting on the construction traffic to ensure the Town Centre roads are not ground to a halt? The existing traffic is often clogged and if the South Grove site starts work at the same time as this there will not be enough road capacity. Nowhere in the plans available to the public is there any information about how they propose to bring heavy lorries to the site and how many they will need on a daily basis for some years.

We urge you to reject this ill-conceived scheme which will ruin a popular shopping centre, destroy current open space and mature trees and cause years of disruption while it is being built. There are already enough building sites in Walthamstow!

Friday, 30 June 2017


Town Centre Scheme

Tower Block Safety

Capital and Regional's Plans


This is your chance to find out more about this horrendous development

CENTRAL LIBRARY  Monday 3rd July from 1pm to 3pm
                                       Thursday 6th July from 7pm to 7pm

1. How will the construction traffic reach the site without disrupting existing traffic?
2. How close are the 4 tower blocks to each other?
3. What fire precautions are there?
4. What happens to the rest of the plans if the outline permission for the 4 tower blocks is refused?
5. Will the public be excluded from the open space during the building works?


Open Air Meeting in Town Square: 6.30pm July 7th
( ALL WELCOME  ~  bring a blanket or a chair)
Along with the vibrant local campaign to stop the building of a monster block in the market, we are calling on all residents to come along to this gathering to plan a mass lobby of the Council.  Our market (and now potentially our town hall) is being redesigned out of all recognition for the sake of corporate interests.

Capital and Regional UK are seeking planning permission to build four high rise blocks of luxury flats including a monster block of 29 floors to overshadow the remains of the town square. Half the Mall will be demolished, approximately one third of the open space in the Square taken away, and a new commercial shopping area built, with cafes and leisure units (could even be a casino). 500 residential units are proposed, but with no indication that they will include social or "affordable" housing of any kind for those in housing need in the borough!

We say there should be a moratorium on the granting of Planning Permission for all new high rise builds until after the Grenfell Public Enquiry has reported, and any new fire or safety regulations agreed and written into law.

There will be a consultation exhibition in the library in High Street on
 Monday July 3rd 1pm -3pm, and on Thursday June 6th 5pm-7pm

We will have a campaign stall outside the library at those times where you will be able to record your objection directly onto the Council website using an Internet-connected laptop that we will provide. If you want to do this yourself at home you can go to:

Fill in the first part of the form as follows: 

Planning Application No: 171355

Address of the property:  The Mall Shopping Centre and Town Square

Description of the development: Extension of the The Mall into the public open space to create new covered-in commercial units, the construction of four new residential tower blocks including one of 29 stories and other residential units integrated into the re-modelled shopping mall and the re-modelling of the remaining parts of the Square including the destruction of a large number of trees and the replacement of the existing children's playground with a smaller 'play area' somewhere else on the site.

The remaining box is for your comments. Ask for acknowledgement of your contribution


 HYPERLINK "mailto:wftc@wftc.fsnet.co.uk"wftradescouncil@gmail.com

Reply to my appeal

Dear Mr Stannard

Thank you for your interest in the application to redevelop The Mall.  As Cabinet member for Economic growth and High Streets I thought it might be helpful if I clarified some points. My answers to the issues you raise are set out below:

1.       Consultation
·          In view of the scale, complexity and importance of the proposals LBWF has instigated an enhanced  public consultation process which includes direct mailing to 10 000+ town centre addresses, an extended consultation period until late July (rather than standard 21 days), a summary flyer and public drop in sessions at Walthamstow Library on 3 July between 1pm – 3pm and 6 July 5pm – 7pm.
·          We are aware that there are difficulties in downloading plans from the website.  We are therefore transferring the application on to our Local Plan Consultation system.  This should be done by the end of the day and should enable easier access to and viewing of the application information and plans.  A hard copy of the application is available to view at the Council’s offices (Sycamore House) and at the library.
·          Dates for the drop in sessions etc. were included in our flyer and we are using social media and other digital channels to publicise this further.

This is one of the most important applications we have in the system at the moment and we are going to extra lengths to ensure that residents and others have an opportunity to have their say.

2.       Resident Safety
·          Residents safety is our absolute priority both during construction and post completion.
·          As part of the planning application consultation we will be liaising with our own building control and highways teams, Met Police, London Fire Brigade and TfL.  All but the first are statutory consultees for an application of this nature.
·          This should ensure that concerns about construction methodology, the principle of the safety of the building and access and servicing arrangements for all traffic including emergency vehicles are fully addressed as part of the consideration of the application.
·          We will of course comply with any changes in regulations that come out of the Grenfell House investigation and inquiry.

3.       Benefits of the scheme
·          The benefits of redeveloping The Mall were highlighted as part of the Walthamstow Town Centre Area Action Plan
·          These include a re-invigorated, flagship retail and cultural venue with improved shops, food and drink uses and an enhanced town square.  The development would deliver much needed homes along with significant numbers of new jobs both during the construction period and permanent jobs within the completed development
·          Without the significant investment that the scheme will deliver these benefits could not be realised.

4.       High quality
·          We are striving to deliver high quality development across the Borough. To enable this we have established the Waltham Forest Design Review Panel delivered by CABE.  The Panel has already reviewed the scheme and amendments and improvements that they suggested have been made incorporated.
·          By working with the applicants, Capital and Regional, and seeking this external review of the proposals we are confident that a high quality development can be achieved.

5.       Engagement with other stakeholders
·          We have been liaising with the GLA and the London Mayor in the run up to the submission of the planning application.
·          By working with the Mayor and other partners, such as TfL, we are hoping to deliver a package of town centre improvements that will provide the best deal for Walthamstow.
·          This will build on the success of other schemes that have already been delivered such as The Scene and the town centre public realm scheme.

I hope this is useful and answers the concerns you raise.

With best wishes


Simon Miller
A Labour Councillor for Leyton
Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and High Streets

To Councillors
1.       Please get the plans for the Town Centre made accessible to the public. Planning App 171355 on the planning web site will not download as the files are too large. Previous large plans have been given their own dedicated web site and the files split up.
The officers have had the plans since April but there was no mention of them in the latest WFN and hard copies of all the documents should be available in the Central Library. As it is a complex plan officers should be holding presentation sessions to show what is proposed. Why is the council deliberately keeping the public in the dark about this huge redevelopment?
2.       The scale and massing is totally inappropriate for the Town Centre and the whole of the Mall site should have been cleared to get the right spacing between the tower blocks instead of squeezing them on to the edge by Selbourne Road.
3.       Where is the space for emergency vehicles?
4.       If a fire broke out in one block it could easily spread to another block as they are so close. Do the blocks have two staircases and sprinkler systems and will the cladding be fire proof? No doubt Kensington and Chelsea Council said Grenfell Tower complied with all regulations. Do you want a repeat of that disaster in Walthamstow?  There is no need to redevelop the already successful shopping centre so why take the risk?
5.       Has the London Fire Brigade examined the plans properly to ensure they are safe? Have you checked this has been properly carried out?
6.       How can the site be redeveloped with 4 huge tower blocks one being 29 storeys – twice the height of anything around, while keeping the Mall operating? Will shoppers’ lives be at risk from the building works which will be very close? How will the developer ensure the streets of Walthamstow are not clogged up while the heavy lorries deliver materials and the work force come into the centre? – the bus station already struggles with the traffic congestion.
7.       Over 500 dwellings are proposed which will be at least 1,500 more people in the Town Centre and on public transport which is already bursting at the seams.  A further 500 dwellings have been agreed to in the St James Street area before the Buxton Road site is developed. How will the existing users manage with the extra crowds?
8.       The green space, vitally important for a good environment, will be decimated and will be in greater demand. Any chance of expanding the bus station will have to be abandoned as there will be not be space for it.
This is one of the worst schemes I have seen, is totally unnecessary and will destroy Walthamstow as we know it. It will make residents lives a misery while it is constructed and will then pour masses more people on to our already congested streets and public transport. This scheme must be abandoned.


Council Survey

Council Survey about the Borough

Woodhouse Players

The truth is rarely pure and never simple.

Jack Worthing is leading a double life. Respectable Jack in the country, playboy Ernest in town. His deception begins to unravel when he proposes marriage to Gwendolen Fairfax, daughter of the fearsome Lady Bracknell. His best friend Algernon Moncrieff does not help matters when he decides to take on the guise of the wicked Ernest to pursue Jack's not-so-innocent ward, Cecily. A series of farcical mishaps sets Jack's multiple identities on a collision course where his eventual happiness depends upon his real name - but what is it?

Oscar Wilde's final play is a joyful masterpiece that brilliantly skewers Victorian moral attitudes towards marriage, class and respectability via high farce, style and wit.

Fri 14th July 2017, 8pmSat 15th July 2017, 2.30pm and 8pm

Wed 19th July 2017, 8pm
Fri 21st July 2017, 8pm
Sat 22nd July 2017, 2.30pm* and 8pm

*The 2.30pm performance on 22nd July will be BSL signed. 

Ticket prices:
Advance booking (email/online/phone):  £8 (Concessions £5)
Pay on door (unbooked):  £9 (Concessions £6)

Book online via the website www.woodhouseplayers.co.uk
Phone/email reservations 020 8504 3872/ tickets@woodhouseplayers.co.uk

Julie Rickwood
Woodhouse Players
Membership Secretary

Marlowe Road Redevelopment update

Marlowe Road Resident

Lea Valley Heritage Alliance

Lea Valley Heritage Alliance