Sunday, 21 May 2017

Aldi chops down trees

Former B&Q site

Residents win

Lea Bridge road school back again

Planning App is 171408

As many friends will know, the government's Education Funding Agency purchased the site at 150A Lea Bridge Road E5 9RJ from Thames Water in 2015 for the purpose of building academy/ free schools. There has been local (Waltham Forest and Hackney) opposition to this on educational, environmental and traffic grounds. Waltham Forest Council rejected the proposals at the pre-planning stage and this resulted in the original intended September 2017 opening of the schools (in temporary buildings) to be moved to September 2018. The applicants have now put forward formal planning application to Waltham Forest Planning Committee with added justifications. 

The full documents are at: You can just enter 171408 on the Application ID box to get to the list of documents.
The environmental grounds of concern are primarily about the loss/ restriction to the public of MOL. The applicant claims that there will be more green open space than is currently on the site but this will be sports pitches used by the schools. The removal of trees is another major concern: basically they want to remove 21 trees and 1 tree group in one area and 11 trees and 1 tree group in another part of the site. These trees include Wild Cherry and Hornbeam. Major visual impact will be to the lovely fruit trees that line Lea Bridge Road. A few are reported as dead, but mostly they are 40-year mature trees.

The traffic and travel plans are grotesque. Waltham Forest are holding out on the issues of incompatibility of two school entrances with the (yet-to-be-built) Mini-Holland cycle track on the south side of LB Road and the impact on the through vehicular traffic of turning cars going to pick up/ drop off. TfL are not too happy either.

One of the documents describes the search they made to find a suitable site. This was a complete farce. They looked at every large plot in the catchment area, including for instance Leyton Orient Football Ground, Arriva Bus Garage at Leyton Green, Leyton Sports Centre etc. The likeliest looking ones got discarded because their value was stated to be more than it was worth putting into an educational building. They pronounced the Thames Water site as the best one - although it is stated to be on a flood plain and contaminated land and has insufficient access to amenities in their judgment - it has already been purchased for the purpose! A bit of post-hoc rationalising going on, quite shamelessly.

There is the whole issue of the academy/ free school status which will galvanise many to object, but they will need to phrase objections according to the planning context.

The full documents are at: You can just enter 171408 on the Application ID box to get to the list of documents.

I can't see the deadline for objections to be sent in - has anyone had a letter with this detail on it? 


Friday, 5 May 2017

More planning failures

May Fair a success

Despite the rain the May Day fair in Lloyd Park was a great success

Walthamstow Gateway update

Planning Application 142873

This is what the additional development on Walthamstow Station Car Park will look like.

Pollution consultation

Government's Pollution Plans

Pollution Forecasts

Buses easier to find

Buses changing

Great Millish Bake Off

Hi Adrian,

I’m holding a fund raising event for the Mill in Walthamstow. It used to be a library but when it closed down was taken over as a Community centre and is mainly volunteer run. It’s very active with loads going on for every age, nationality and ability. Of course, it always needs money so I’ve volunteered to help.

The event is called the “Great MILLish Bakeoff” and involves lots of cake related things. You don’t need to make a cake but it you feel so inclined there’s a competition judged by local bakers. Otherwise just come and eat some.

There are also lots of games and children would have a great time. There’s a ‘decorate your own cupcake activity’, a cake drawing competition, tombola, raffle and much more.

I’d love it if you could come and bring people with you. Better still if you could volunteer to help for an hour or two.

I attach a poster if you could put it somewhere, a map and handouts. 

Thanks so much.     Jean

William Morris Big Local

Subject: WMBL Get Together


You may have seen that our next public meeting at William Morris Big Local is coming up.
We’re now just a week away and I wanted to get in touch to remind you about it and see if you can come!

Time, Date, Place: 7.00pm – 9.00pm, Tuesday 9th May, William Morris Community Centre, 6-8 Greenleaf Road, E17 6QQ

The aim of our event is to bring as many local people, organisations and groups together so that we can help strengthen ties in the area and to share with you the latest developments of the WMBL project. On the night we will be hearing from some of our currently funded groups with a drumming presentation from Woven Air and a dance performance from Move17. We will also be launching the second round of our Community Chest grants, with advice, guidance and application forms available on the night.
To cap things off we’ll have a friendly social with some lovely food and refreshments and the chance to meet one another and speak face to face with the people involved in Big Local.

A poster is attached for the event, I’d really appreciate it if you can help spread the word and would love to see you there!

Kind regards

Gabriel Edwards
Development Worker
William Morris Big Local
Office 1, William Morris Community Centre, 6-8 Greenleaf Road, Walthamstow, E17 6QQ
07947 766 251

Christian Kitchen's new kitchen

Christian Kitchen

St James Street

If you missed Waltham Forest Oral History Workshop’s exhibition at The Mill Community Centre there is still a chance to see (and hear!) it at Vestry House Museum on Saturday 13 May, for one day only. The exhibition tracks the development of Walthamstow’s first shopping centre over more than a century through historical photographs and documents from the archives at Vestry House, brought to life by extracts from the recorded memories of more than 40 local shoppers, shopkeepers and stallholders aged from 9 to 93. 

At 2.30pm Robert Wilkinson will give an illustrated talk on the history of the area. Robert will also be leading a free history walk around the St James Street area on Sunday 28 May, starting at the corner of St James Street and the High Street at 2.30pm. WFOHW’s oral history project is part of Waltham Forest Council’s St James Street Townscape Heritage Regeneration Project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Contact Alice Mackay on or 07985 962975.

Marlowe Road - update


Remains of plaza

Wait until residents see the new blocks growing up beside Northwood Tower blocking their light and satellite dishes. How did this get through the planning process?

What a waste of public money - the Wood Street Plaza and playground were barely finished, at vast expense, and now it is all ripped up. This council really does know how to create jobs!

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