Friday, 29 August 2008

Ugly tower blocks... beautiful art!

Visit the E17 Art Trail 6-14 September to see dozens of local artists, many of them exhibiting either at home or in quirky locations. In particular, do check out two artists whose work is inspired by the Fight The Height anti tower block campaign:
Valeria Bateson has a window display at 25 West Avenue Road - the picture above left is part of her artistic exploration of the impact of tower blocks, present and potential, in our local area (open every day within daylight hours).
Alke Schmidt is one of many artists exhibiting in The State of the Borough 2008 at Wood Street Market, 98 Wood Street (open 10am-5pm most days; closed Thursdays and Sundays). The picture above right is part of a collage she's exhibiting. Oh and there's a rumour that our tomato-throwing antics from the June demo may be featuring in another artist's piece at the same exhibition... so you might be immortalised in a work of art!
For more info see the E17 Art Trail website.

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Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Fancy becoming a planning geek?!

Over years of campaigning, we've discovered that not only is it too late to fight developments when the bulldozers arrive, it's also sometimes too late when they apply for planning permission.
Why? Because months, often years, earlier the council has agreed a planning policy which sets in stone what will happen. For example, a policy might mark out a particular area for development, dictate what the housing density should be, maybe even state that a specific site is suitable for a tall building. Once a policy is agreed, it's extremely hard to fight applications that fit it.
So... if you like getting into the nitty-gritty of the policies that will shape Walthamstow over the coming years, check out the council's new online "consultation portal" where you can read draft documents and comment on them. Anyone can register to comment... so please do! (a couple of the consultations end Monday - but there will be others in the near future)
Hmm, sounds a bit boring - why should you?! Well, we can promise you that other interested parties - especially the big developers who are planning tower blocks for Walthamstow - will be all over the website leaving detailed comments. This is one of those times where we need to fight them at their own game.
Don't worry, we'll still be chaining ourselves to bulldozers too ;-)

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Thursday, 21 August 2008

Comment on the Giant Telly

Democracy seemed absent in the decision to erect a giant telly in Walthamstow Town Square. But at least the BBC website is giving the public the chance to comment on the screen. It'll be interesting to see whether your opinions are published...!
Visit to tell them what you think of it.

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Friday, 15 August 2008

March to Save Our Stow

Join the march on Saturday 16th August to try and save Walthamstow's world-famous dog track from housing developers. Meet outside the track at 12 noon for a march to Walthamstow town square.
For more on the campaign visit
To sign the petition visit

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Thursday, 7 August 2008

Council turns giant telly on

The "screen on the green" – the Olympic "Live Site" giant telly plonked on Walthamstow town square gardens, with the childrens' play area directly behind it, flickered into life today, after a last-minute planning hearing by the Waltham Forest Planning Committee. The committee agreed to 16 hours a day operation, seven days a week, 7am to 11pm, until at least the end of 2012.
Despite the Director of CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) calling the screens "intrusive" and suggesting our town square could become "an outdoors Currys", as well as fierce arguing from the Cleveland Park Residents' Association representative, a local dad and a Civic Society member, councillors rejected limiting the hours to "when something good is on" and also rejected a formal six-month review. Mainly due to "computer says no" counsel from two of Waltham Forest's Planning Officers.
Councillors did ask the Olympic arm of the council (the applicant in this case) for a (non-binding) six month review of how the screen was doing. And asked also that the review included local community representatives and ward councillors.
More news on the six-month review and how intrusive the screen is in action soon…

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