Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Write to Robbins!

Love Walthamstow? Please spare 2 mins to object to plans to dump a huge out-of-town style supermarket and massive housing development in the heart of E17.

This is how the size of the South Grove plans compare with Warner houses! (click on the picture to see the scale) We're talking a big first floor car park, a massive Morrisons supermarket (the biggest in the country) on top plus other retail, and then 248 flats on top of that. All in the middle of Walthamstow!

Visit Cleveland Park Residents' Association for details of the South Grove plans, how to object and how to email council leader Chris Robbins and tell him the plans urgently need a rethink!

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Friday, 6 September 2013

Mahoosive South Grove planning application is in(visible)

The planning application for the South Grove Morrisons development is in according to the Waltham Forest Guardian. Not that you can see it on the council website - there's just a page with some very basic info.

The WF Guardian article says "Morrisons claim it has listened to the public during two consultations and changed the plans accordingly". But it still looks much the same to us: a huge development (shops + big supermarket + car park + 248 flats on top!). And it still looks to be insular, hoping to attract visitors and sell them stuff but in no way attempting to the rest of Walthamstow High Street's shops and cafes.

If you'd like to see the mahoosive development plans in all their ugliness glory then one of our contacts got this appropriately huge PDF file from the developers. Be warned: it's a 45MB download! Alternatively you can always trot along to the town hall and ask to see the plans.

You can make comments online - even though you can't see the application there yet - or better still email them to case officer Sonia Malcolm. Officially the deadline to comment on the plans looks to be 24th September, which doesn't give us long. In practice, submissions sent later will doubtless be accepted as this is a large and important application.

As for rallying the opposition, follow @SouthGrove_E17 on Twitter. Calling themselves Better South Grove, they're dot on: the South Grove site is ripe for development but these plans just aren't on the right scale for central Walthamstow and they're nowhere near good enough quality. As ever, our council needs to resist them and push the developers to return with something much better. And hey, why not go whole hog and engage the community to draw up better plans together rather than just holding "public exhibitions" and then changing nothing?

So... please object! (see above for how to do so) As ever, object on relevant planning grounds where possible. But do object - even a sentence or two registering your opinion counts for a lot.

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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

More impending developments

Planning committee next Tuesday (7pm, town hall) will decide on the new plans for the old Ensign factory building on Fulborne Road. If you'd like to speak at committee you need to contact the planning department. For more info on the plans, scroll down to the story below or click here.

Meanwhile, the ugly tower block at Walthamstow Central station - you know, the one they had to rush through so it's built in time for the Olympics, ahem - is taking shape and there are already plans afoot for a series of shorter blocks on what's currently the car park. See the council "consultation portal" for details of this and other sites the council believes to be ripe for development.

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Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Help needed to save Walthamstow's secret historic building

Would you fight to save this factory on Fulbourne Road?

How about if you knew that underneath that ugly eighties cladding lies this, the old Ensign camera factory?!

Dating from 1908, it's one of the first, if not the first, British camera factories. It's beautiful, and we think it should be preserved as a historic building and sympathetically developed.

Current plans are to demolish it and build 124 homes plus some shops on the site. By Lindhill, the guys that built the ugly Tower Mews development opposite Walthamstow Central tube (the one with the Tesco Metro). So it'll look like this.

Please object to the new plans via the council. But most importantly, if you or a friend has expertise in protecting historic buildings - and doing it quickly - please get in touch! 

The campaign is being co-ordinated by Carol and Andrew at Arts & Crusts, a wonderful little cafe and community hub just round the corner from the site. And a set of plans are currently on display in the cafe. So please get in touch with them ASAP if you can help...

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Thursday, 31 January 2013

Blackhorse Lane plans on show

New plans to develop the area North-West of Blackhorse Road station. Visit the public exhibitions tomorrow and Saturday (1st & 2nd Feb) to see the plans for yourself. See Blackhorse Action Group for details and the Blackhorse Lane Consultation site too.

We haven't seen enough of the plans yet to comment... but please god don't call it Morris Village!

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Friday, 25 January 2013

South Grove update

Predictably, the consultation on the South Grove plans didn't involve much consulting with residents. It was more like a public exhibition of the plans. And one where it was hard to get a straight answer out of them on simple questions like height...

Our friends at Blackhorse Action Group have written a report on the so-called 'consultation' which is well worth reading.

And the short (ha!) answer on height is: two storeys of retail plus seven storeys of housing on top. But the retail ones are double height, so the development will effectively be the same height as an 11-storey building.

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Wednesday, 16 January 2013

South Grove consultation this week - tall buildings klaxon!

Here comes another one!!!

New plans for a BIG development at South Grove - the patch of land that's currently a large car park and business centre, between Sainsburys and the little roundabout at the end of Markhouse Road.

Not sure where that is? See this map or look at the picture above (unhelpfully, this is looking at the site from the north, as if you're floating above the market looking south across the overground line).

We haven't seen the plans but looking at the publicity they clearly include a big Morrisons supermarket (a stone's throw from Sainsburys) and car park, up to three other shops and lots of new homes (reportedly 240 flats!).

Don't be fooled by the apparent scale of the buildings taken from an angle that would make anything look diddy. Click on the picture to look more closely and you'll see that, like the new Arcade plans, the gardens pictured are in fact on top of a building, surrounded by taller blocks. (Look at the bottom right of the development, and see how the building underneath dwarfs a juggernaut!) So the overall height of the tallest buildings looks to be MASSIVE. Well over 10 storeys we'd guess.

Find out more at or better still come to the consultation this week and have your say.

Consultations: this Friday 18th Jan (2pm-8pm) and Saturday 19th Jan (10am-4pm) at Alpha Business Centre, South Grove E17 7NX

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