Monday, 21 July 2008

Giant telly: object now!

ACT NOW if you object to the giant telly in Walthamstow Town Square broadcasting (with sound) 16 hours a day, every day of the year, for the next four years.
Please send a quick email to with your objections. She must receive them by the morning of Tuesday 5th August for them to be considered by the planning committee that night.
The screen already has planning permission. That battle is lost. But the applicant (the council) was told to return to the planning committee with revised operating hours. Instead it has (rather arrogantly, in our opinion) sent a letter attempting to justify the original operating hours proposed. These are 7am-11pm - the screen would be broadcasting both video and sound for all those hours. And it wants to start on Friday 8th August!
The truth is, the contract with the BBC (as yet unsigned) insists on those hours. But there is no real justification for them. And plenty of reasons for concern.
Our proposal is that the hours are approved... but only for six months. That way the screen can prove itself through the Beijing Olympics and beyond. Or else our concerns will be proven to be valid. It's called giving them enough rope...
Below are two documents to download: a detailed objection that has been sent in by the Cleveland Park Residents' Association. Plus a template to make it easy for you to write your own objection letter/email. It basically says that you support the main points in the CPRA objection and then gives room for you to add your own comments/points (which is important - the council will take your letter far more seriously if you personalise it).
morning of Tuesday 5th August at the very latest.
CPRA objection letter
Objection letter to personalise

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Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Giant telly - the fight continues

If the sight of the huge Olympics-funded telly in Walthamstow Town Square being built is hardening your resolve to fight the height... then good! We're going to need everyone to get involved when it comes to opposing the tower block plans.
Meanwhile, there is still something worth fighting regarding the screen. The screen got planning permission on two conditions. One that it was only until 2012. The other was that the insanely long proposed operating hours, of 7am-11pm every single day of the year, were rejected - the applicant (the council) had to return with revised hours.
And guess what? They have now applied for approval... with the exactly the same operating hours!
So... watch this space. We'll be posting details of how to object ASAP. Meanwhile the application number is 2008/1087/RSM if you want to check it out at the town hall for yourself.

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St Modwen posts £20m losses

If you heard a high-pitched sound on Tuesday, it was probably the world's smallest violin playing for Arcade developer St Modwen. Thanks to the property market collapse, it posted £20m losses for the first half of the year (last year it posted £65.1m profit in the same period). It has written £54.6m off its portfolio in what it describes as the worst period for the industry in almost 20 years.
Quoted in this Telegraph article, St Modwen says: "For residential land, there is currently no genuine market, as the major housebuilders are unwilling to invest in land until they can see the way ahead more clearly."
Meanwhile this BBC News story says that St Modwen is delaying its housebuilding plans in Longbridge. This comes just days after it announced it's delaying a development in Hatfield (see story below).
Again this suggests we will face delays (or maybe even get a reprieve - after all, St Modwen doesn't own the land yet) for the Arcade...

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Sunday, 13 July 2008

St Modwen delays elsewhere, demands money from council

We'd already heard that St Modwen (the company behind the Arcade site plans) was delaying developments elsewhere. But the incredible news is that according to a local newspaper story St Modwen say their Hatfield town centre plans will be delayed by two or three years... unless they council makes "a substantial investment" to help make up for the flailing property market.
Is this the shape of things to come in E17? We've already seen written proof that Waltham Forest council is going to receive barely more in the St Modwen deal than the £4m they have already spent on the Arcade site. If they spend any more, they will have made a loss... in order to bring an unwanted tower blobk to our High Street.

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