Councillor Pye says "move to Surrey if you don’t like it"
|Residents protest outside. Inside we were told to "move to Surrey"!|
Bad news Walthamstownians. On Thursday night our council’s planning committee granted planning permission for Solum to build a 14-storey hotel on the south side of Walthamstow Central station, and further blocks of 8 storeys in the station car park, flanking the Victorian station building.
The council predictably voted along party lines, with the four Labour councillors pushing it through.
Solum didn’t win without a fight. The public gallery was full to bursting point. And residents spoke brilliantly – mainly about how council policies on height, design and impact on residents were being broken left, right and centre.
But Solum promised that they’d get the hotel open in time for the Olympics and that the streets would be paved with gold, jobs, etc.
Meanwhile Councillor Marie Pye, cabinet member for housing, spoke very reasonably about the desperate need for family housing… but then very unreasonably about the fact that we should all “move to Surrey” if we didn’t like it, explaining that we live in London and not suburbia, and tall buildings are typical of London.
Ironically, Solum is carpet-bombing similar low-quality, high-rise developments on other stations as we speak. And Epsom (Surrey) and Twickenham (in outer London, and very near Surrey) and both getting the same treatment as us.
So maybe Ms Pye should be the one that moves to Surrey. She can take her tower blocks with her and she can leave us here in low-rise Walthamstow. Where we would love some new family housing. We just don’t believe that tower blocks are the best place to put them.
Oh and we’ll be stunned if the hotel’s built in time for the Olympics!
[Apologies for the late posting of this news, but even activists get ill. There is, quite literally, no justice.]