Thursday, 22 November 2012

Arcade plans in quite good shocker!

The shocking news about the new Arcade site plans is that they're not bad. No, really. Opinions differ as to whether it's appropriate to build 120 new homes and a nine-screen cinema there at all. But the plans have been thoughtfully designed with good attention to detail and far less negative impact on central Walthamstow than previous plans. St Modwen's 18-storey tower block it ain't!

But some things don't change. The council has predictably published the new plans online without file names, so you have to wade through countless documents to find the interesting stuff. No matter, we've looked through them all and uploaded the key documents for you. The most useful document to read to get a feel for the plans is the Design & Access Statement.

Residents near the site should also see p48 of the Air Quality Assessment because there's due to be a power plant that will produce a flume of pollutants. Hoe Street looks like it will be most affected but it may also concern residents of Browns, Tower Hamlets, Byron, Milton and Cairo Roads plus Cleveland Park Avenue and Crescent. See diagram below.

Do look at the plans and do please email Sonia Malcolm with your opinions by the 30th November deadline (next Friday) quoting "Application no 2012/1355" and including your name and address. The more emails she gets, the better, so please tell her what you think of the plans. Please tell us what you think too!

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Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Dog track demo this Saturday

If you'd rather Walthamstow Stadium was back in use as a dog track instead of a housing estate, there's a demo 1pm outside the stadium this Saturday (10th Nov). See

There are many critics of L&Qs housing plans, because they don't stack up well financially, offer very little affordable housing, and because very little of the historic Stadium will be preserved. Critics are also up in arms about the fact that the council rushed through rubber-stamping the plans last week before the secretary of state could look at them, see

That said, there are also critics of the alternative plans which would see it return to use as a dog track, on animal welfare grounds. You can read the Stow's animal welfare charter here and make up your own mind.

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Wednesday, 24 October 2012

New Arcade site plans

New plans are in for the Arcade site. You can see them at the library or online at (go to the bottom of the page and click on "open the list of documents related to this application"). The deadline for objections is 30 November, so we're currently wading through the plans to figure out the biggest areas of concern for residents. If you want to help with the wading, just shout!

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2 mins to help Save the Cinema!

There's just one week left to send a quick email or letter to help save the cinema (the UCKG is appealing three recent decisions to refuse planning permission to turn it into a church). It's *vital* that as many people do this as possible. So please email the planning inspector quoting APP/U5930/A/12/2183662/NWF or see McGuffins or Save Our Cinema for more info or download a template letter.

You don't have to write an essay, just a paragraph or two saying that you object, that the proposed hybrid church-cinema won't work, how badly they're looking after the building, etc is just fine. And do include your address so they realise how near you are to the cinema. Deadline 1 November, but please do it today!

Need convincing that there's a better alternative? Read the Waltham Forest Cinema Trust vision document and see what we could have in the heart of Walthamstow instead!

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Thursday, 12 July 2012

Big development incoming!

The PRs for the people behind plans to redevelop Walthamstow's South Grove car park and business centre (into a Morrisons supermarket and 250 homes) have taken the novel step of inviting Fight The Height members along to see the plans tomorrow and Saturday. See this PDF for details
Hope you can make it! And please comment on this story to tell us what you think of the plans...

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Thursday, 12 April 2012

Occupy meeting 21st April

Waltham Forest Trades Council has organised a public meeting with people from the Occupy movement on Saturday 21st April at 2pm in Harmony Hall, Truro Rd E17 (just off the market). Further details and a leaflet will be circulated soon, but please put this date in your diaries and start telling anybody who may be interested.
If you've missed the latest news about evictions of protestors on Leyton Marsh it's well worth reading and watching this Guardian report.

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Dog Track meeting 8th May

Saveourstow says: "We're delighted that a date has been set and we hope this will bring our four year campaign to the conclusion that just about everybody wants except L&Q – and that is the restoration of this Borough’s heritage. We are writing to you for your support. We would be grateful if you could post details of the public meeting onto your websites and also email all your supporters. It is crucial we get a large turnout of local support on the 8th May. We would also be grateful for a message of objection against L&Q’s plans from each of the supporters groups, which we can then add to our website."

They're also looking for volunteers who could kindly offer us a few hours of their time to help distribute posters to local business and deliver leaflets to local residents.

If you can give them a hand they would be most grateful - email for further information.

Together let's do everything possible to make sure L&Q don’t get planning permission to build their high storey development!

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Friday, 23 March 2012

Save Leyton Marsh march + an interesting walk around Walthamstow

Sorry for the short notice, but there's a walk tomorrow (Saturday 24th March) to oppose unfettered Olympics development on Leyton Marsh - 75% of Leyton Marsh has been fenced off to construct basketball training facilities for the Olympics! See Indymedia or Facebook for full details of the march and the campaign.

Meanwhile on Wednesday 28th March there's an after-work walk around Walthamstow, run by Capacities. Their theme is the different ways in which the local authority has treated "the two Walthamstows": the village requiring "conservation" and the town centre requiring "regeneration". Should be interesting. Full info here.

WALK UPDATE: Meet at 6.10 pm (for 6.15 pm departure).  The best ticket/ info point at which to meet is the Selbourne Road Bus Station one.  If emerging from tube, turn left at barriers, along subway towards Selbourne Road exit.  Go up steep stairs and then you see it ahead.  If coming on surface level, head for bus station and look out for the info counter.

Itinerary:  We will start by crossing Hoe Street and walking east along St Mary Street and Church Walk to the parish church to look around churchyard.  Latecomers could catch us at the tourist noticeboard by Vinegar Alley at 6.30 pm ... from there we will walk back through the church precinct, past the Ancient House and then follow Orford Road round to Old Town Hall, past the shops and Orford House Social Club, S down Pembroke Road, W along Grosvenor Park Road, then N up Hoe Street to bus station, Town Square, High Street, Arcade Site and finally to Ye Olde Rose and Crown at 53 Hoe Street.  This we should reach at 7.45.   Table reserved at the back...

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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Dog track update

You might think the whole area has gone to the dogs, but we think otherwise. In fact, there's a compelling argument for getting the dogs back!

If the council has rejected the UCKG's plans for our listed cinema on the grounds that it's viable to keep it in use for the purpose it was designed for, shouldn't the same logic be applied to Walthamstow's listed greyhound stadium?

If you missed last night's public meeting about the dog track, you can read reports online from Save Our Stow and Waltham Forest Civic Society.

And details of how to see and comment on L&Q's plans to turn it into a giant housing + leisure development are on the council website. You have until the end of February to object - get racing!

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Friday, 20 January 2012

Sex, Drugs and LowHall

Public meeting about massive Olympic campsite
Without public consultation the council has decided to create a massive* Olympic campsite on Walthamstow's Low Hall Sports Ground. That's not good at all. But perhaps the worst part of the plans is the people running it. The company involved [Big Events Camping] have no experience of running campsites and lots of experience of running stuff that's really quite offensive!

Big Events Camping is actually joint enterprise of 'The Sunday Events Co' [whose main venture is The Church a sex and booze fueled night club], and Wicked Campers, an Aussie backpacker franchise who offer free nights to dope smokers.

You can sign a petition here - just be sure to check your inbox for an email confirmation afterwards because it often ends up in spam filters! And a public meeting about the campsite has been organised for Tuesday 31 January at 7pm, at the Town Hall, Forest Road. Council officers and the owner of the company organising the camp site will be leading the meeting. Hope you can make it along!
* 5,000 campers + 5,000 day visitors a day for 3.5 weeks!

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EMD Update: How to Save our Cinema by Objecting

An appeal to overturn the Council's decision to refuse permission for the conversion of the beautiful Grade 2* listed EMD cinema on Hoe Street into a church has been submitted by the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG). Government planning inspectors will re-consider Waltham Forest Council's decision to deny UCKG planning permission last year and have the power to overturn the case and allow UCKG to convert our last cinema to religious use.

It is critical that cinema supporters write to the government’s planning inspectorate and register their objections to the UCKG's appeal. The deadline is 21 February. 
  • Object to 'change of use' on the Planning Inspectorate's website (scroll down the page and click 'Comment on this case'), 
  • email the case officer
  • post objections to: Alan Ridley, The Planning Inspectorate, Kite Wing, Temple Quay House, The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6PN.
Please quote ref. APP/U5930/A/11/2165348 whichever way you appeal and include your name and address. 

Find the reasons to object on the campaign’s website.

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