Saturday, 14 January 2017

Schools in Lea Bridge Road put on hold

The plan to build schools on the redundant Thames Water site in Lea Bridge Road has been put on hold. The Academies were so impatient they did not wait for a planning application to be submitted before they advertised places at a non existent school. Waltham Forest Council and the Mayor want to protect the Metropolitan Open Land.

Schools on hold

Sign the petition against housing on Leyton Marsh

Sign the Petition to save Leyton Marsh

Lea Valley Eastside Vision

Consultation on Eastside

Campaign against the selling off of the Waterworks Centre for housing

Dear Authority Members

I am writing to ask you to reject the Land and Property Strategy that will be presented to you on 19 January.
Over 3000 people have already signed a petition ( calling on the London Borough of Waltham Forest to scrap its plans to rezone a large swathe of green open space around The WaterWorks Centre - part of Leyton marshes - for housing, and I am asking you to play your part in ensuring our green open spaces are protected.

 This land is Metropolitan Open Land, which means it should be protected from all inappropriate development, just like Green Belt land. Housing is not, and never will be, appropriate for Metropolitan Open Land.

This land is also part of the flood plain for the River Lea and as such needs to remain as open space so that the “once in 100 years” flood can be catered for and more importantly not risk the lives of people whose homes would be in the front line of any flood. I have seen the flood relief channel nearly overflow so the odds are on a flood while global warming continues.

The founding rationale of the Lee Valley Regional Park was to protect the Park as a green lung for London, and all Authority Members have a duty to uphold this. At no point during the consultations about a new ice rink was anyone told that it would be funded by selling off land presently held for recreational use. To do so would subvert the clear intention of the Act of Parliament with which the Park was founded.

Under the Lee Valley Regional Park Act, the Park Authority was given financial independence by virtue of the power to draw a precept from the GLC (now London boroughs) and Essex and Hertfordshire, the power to borrow and the power to make charges. In addition, it can receive contributions to its capital facilities from third party bodies. Up until now, the Park Authority has lived within its means, limiting its plans to what it can afford from the resources available to it. To depart from this funding model, by selling off recreational land for development, goes against the principles upon which the Park was established.

If the Park Authority concludes that it cannot afford to build a new ice centre without resorting to selling off recreational land for development, then a new ice centre is currently beyond the Park Authority’s means.

Furthermore, it is disingenuous to argue that the fact that The Waterworks Centre is underused is justification enough for closing it. It is underused only because those managing it have let it steadily run into the ground over the last few years, and have resisted all suggestions from local people about how it can be made a vibrant community hub.

Please protect the future of the Lee Valley Regional Park, and reject the Land and Property Strategy that will be presented to you on 19 January.

Monday, 18 July 2016

SLM Digest 11-7-16

Hello all,

Apologies for the lack of digest over the last couple of weeks. Our trusty Celia has her arm in a cast and I've been unable to fill her shoes.

Although this is not a proper digest, I thought I'd put together for you a few highlights of the week, plus important news:

Free School

You may have seen earlier in the week that Cllr Rathbone sent round the proposals for a free school on the Clancy Docwra site. There are many concerns about this, summed up in the email objection circulated from Campaign to Protect Rural England. Whilst it is a brownfield site, it is protected Metropolitan Open Land. Local groups will be convening to discuss the issue and the NUT has also been contacted.

Beautiful Migration

A real highlight of the week was the visit of a rare rose finch to Walthamstow Marshes, a story covered in Loving Dalston here: A solo East European migrant draws watchers to a willow tree in Walthamstow Marshes
A solo East European migrant draws watchers to a willow ...
Hackney » LATEST » NATURE & CONSERVATION » NEWS A solo East European migrant draws watchers to a willow tree in Walthamstow Marshes 0 Comments
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We'll Meet You About the Car Wash, Yeah!

This week SLM reps visited the AGM of Lee Valley Regional Park. We spoke against the recently installed car wash which contravenes MOL guidance, the Park Act and the London Plan as well as adding to pollution and undermining the purpose of the Mini Holland improvements.  Images of the car wash were handed out to the LVRPA members at the meeting. We'll keep you posted on any response.

No Minutes to Lose

We also spoke at the AGM regarding the minutes from the last Authority meeting where it was agreed that the new ice centre would not encroach beyond the 'red line' outlined on the map of Leyton Marshes and would not extend north onto Leyton Marsh.

Despite these promises being excluded from the minutes, after the intervention, the members voted to agree the inclusion of the statements made into the minutes which will be amended accordingly.

Tales from the Marsh

10 July 2016,2.30pm,
Coppermill Field, Coppermill Lane, London, E17 7HE
FREE – but tickets must be booked in advance.
From the Ground Up explores the magnetic pull of Walthamstow and Leyton Marshes. Made in collaboration with three local groups, Made in collaboration with three local groups, older people and women and daughters, both based at The Mill, and a group of teenagers from Llamas school
Through creative workshops and walking conversations, Siobhan O’Neill has carved out a space for inhabitants to reflect on their diverse lived experiences of the Marshes. From intimate stories to political provocations, these narratives unearth a strong bond to common land, simmering anxiety over urban development and an intense need to connect with the natural environment.
Live performance, reminiscence, image, poetry and landscape combine to create a quirky and poignant evocation of this urban wildness.

SLM Digest 17-6-16

Save Lea Marshes is an open group of  local people concerned to keep the marshes and green spaces of the Lea Valley open and green for wildlife and local people.  For further information go to

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SLM Weekly Digest

Keep Our Marshes Open and Green!

This is the Weekly Digest of Save Lea Marshes.  We are an open group of local people dedicated to keeping the green spaces and marshes of the Lea Valley area for the betterment of wildlife and for the health of people now and in the future.  To find out more about our ongoing campaigns please see our

We offer our condolences for the friends and family of MP Jo Cox who was horrifically murdered on Thursday, and can only repeat what her friends are saying she was all about: “Hope not hate”. Let’s hope there are lessons learned.

With SLM our week has been dominated by the decision to go ahead with the building of the twin pad ice rink on Leyton Marsh – albeit with assurances that building will be focused towards the road, be visually and environmentally acceptable and not infringe more of the marsh.  We’ll be reporting back in more detail.

SUDS LAW – the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority or more properly the Trust arm “Vibrant Partnerships” - seem to think that putting an independent car washing business on the Ice Centre site is a funding initiative that will assuage the member boroughs who have to watch their area budgets and limit their contribution to the upkeep and future of the Lee Valley Park.  This is like throwing pennies into a Wishing Well and not in keeping with the guardianship of the area that the LVRPA was set up to do.  The “delightful” blue canopy structure is now in place see below:

DAM IT!  Whilst SLM are trying to fend of ice and soap suds (and worse) on the marshes, across the other side of the world the indigenous people – the Mundururu are fighting off the Brazilian Government’s plan to build a huge energy dam through their Amazon territory.  Sign the Greenpeace petition:

PANNING IT FOR GOOD - PAN UK member Nick Mole last night spoke at an excellent and well attended first public meeting about the campaign to make Hackney one of the 'Pesticide Free' areas across the world. For more info about next steps, keep posted on the 'Pesticide Free Hackney' page.

IN THE PRESS – The Hackney Gazette letters page, p. 8 has a letter protesting about the plans of Hackney Council to build a school for six years on land in Haggerston Park 

The June issue of the Hackney Citizen (Issue 80) has on p.7 an article on “Lea Valley Ice Centre could put ‘vital green lung at risk”,  and in the books section on p.16 a review of Historian Travis Elborough’s book “A Walk in the Park:  The Life and Times o a People’s Institution”, published by Jonathan Cape (with a photograph of some well-known local people).   - and well just look at the whole publication on line or grab a copy from a library.

Nationally in The Sunday Times, 12.6.16, p. 14 “Stargazers see red as night sky lightens”, on the “Night Blight” CPRE report on we’re just using too much light in our infrastructure, e.g. Football Stadiums such as Wembley and giant greenhouses being major light polluters.  

The Guardian Tuesday 14.6.16 has two stories on p.13 “Child mental illness is linked to air pollution – more psychiatric disorders where air quality is worse, Swedish research finds even low levels have an effect and “Plea to help hedgehogs as sightings fall”, gardeners can help reverse the decline by avoiding pesticides and slug pellets, providing water and access through their gardens.

IN THE FRACKING CORNER – whilst we hear of one woman’s  situation of being ordered by a court to be the nominated person (or “Judgement Debtor), to pay an eviction fee (after people had actually left) of £55,342.37 after a three week Anti-fracking protest in Flyde, Lancashire, where Cuadrilla plan to drill – see her blog.

Contrast this with the story in The Guardian yesterday, p. 17 Concern raised at firm called Ineos plan to dump fracking water in the sea, which also mentions that Cuadrilla withdrew an application for a permit to frack in Lancashire after the Environment Agency (EA) tightened the rules for disposal after 2m gallons of wastewater had already been discharged into the Manchester ship canal.


Saturday 18 June – Mabley Green is running its Saturday Gardening Club from 11.00, all welcome and tells us that Eco Active will be running another club on thefirst and third Tuesday of the month between 1.00-3.00 p.m. and that there will be a special meeting  for Mabley Green supporters on Tuesday 21 June at the Star & Jackdaw in Homerton Road E.9. at 8.00 p.m. to discuss future plans and elect some few representatives to the committee.

Monday 20 June, SLM are organising a Midsummer’s Night Walk and a visit to a local pub to remember Katy Andrews.  Katy is still very much with us in spirit and in our thinking.
The Canal’s & River Trust (CaRT) are organising a volunteer day on 27 June to carry out some monitoring work aimed at saving the European Eel in the River Lea. There are posters up – more details in June Hackney Citizen, p10.

And finally.. is this the shape of things to come, going over from Hackney on the Lea Bridge the cycle lane is on the right  then entering Waltham Forest’s Mini Holland, it switches to the left – how are pedestrians supposed to deal with this?
Copyright © 2016 Save Lea Marshes, All rights reserved.
You signed up for this email by contacting us directly or ticking a sign up sheet on a petition.

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c/o The Hornbeam Centre
458 Hoe St
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New School in Lea Bridge Road

Dear Lea Valley Federation ,

Proposals for a new primary and secondary school in Waltham Forest

I am writing on behalf of REAch2 Academy Trust and the Lion Academy Trust about our proposals for a new primary school and a new secondary school on a single site in Waltham Forest.

As you may be aware, the Education Funding Agency (EFA) completed the purchase of the Thames Water Depot at 150A Lea Bridge Road in April 2016 after an open sale process.

The EFA is now working with REAch2 Academy Trust and the Lion Academy Trust to develop proposals so that a new two-form entry primary school and eight-form entry secondary school can open in temporary facilities on the site from September 2017, with permanent purpose-built school buildings being completed in 2018 and 2019, subject to planning permission.

Both Trusts already run local schools that are rated by Ofsted as Outstanding and we are confident the new schools will deliver the same high standards of education in an area that needs additional school places.

The Depot site itself would be transformed from concrete and hard-standing into new school buildings with playgrounds, sports facilities and new green space, which could also be used by the wider community out of school hours.

We are now starting public consultation on the principle of the two schools opening on the site, which will feed into our emerging designs for the two schools. There will be further consultation later this Summer before we submit a planning application to the London Borough of Waltham Forest in autumn 2016

As part of this first stage of consultation we would be delighted to welcome you to one of our public exhibitions to view our proposals and speak with members of the project team. The exhibition will take place on:

Public Exhibition One
When: Saturday 16 July, 10am-2pm
Where: WaterWorks Centre & Middlesex Filter Beds, Lammas Rd, E10 7NU

Public Exhibition Two
When: Tuesday 19 July, 4pm-8pm
Where: WaterWorks Centre & Middlesex Filter Beds, Lammas Rd, E10 7NU

In the meantime should you wish to meet with the team, or would like any further information, please do not hesitate to contact Helena Carrie on or 0207 612 8480.

Yours sincerely,

Justin JamesSir Steve Lancashire
Chief Executive OfficerChief Executive Officer
Lion Academy TrustREAch2 Academy Trust

Monday, 13 June 2016

SLM Digest 3-6-16

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Save Lea Marshes is an open group of  local people concerned to keep the marshes and green spaces of the Lea Valley open and green for wildlife and local people.  For further information go to

View this email in your browser

Stand Up For The Marshes: Take Action!

Keep Our Marshes Open and Green!

This week we are not sending you our regular digest - and for a good reason - we need you to take action to protect the marshes!

Leyton Marsh

As you will be aware from previous correspondence, Leyton Marsh has been selected as the preferred site for a new double-pad ice centre. The main criterion on which this preference is based is the ability to expand it!

Please prevent oversized development and expansion onto green space of Leyton Marsh by doing the following:

1) Compose a new email. Cut and paste these email addresses into the recipient box:

2) Read the following letter we wrote on our blog

3) Choose from the points below to write your own email to the LVRPA members asking that they reconsider Leyton Marsh as the site for the new ice centre and requesting that they withdraw the decision from their upcoming meeting so that a proper consultation can be carried out with the public.

Please select as many of the points as matter to you, adding your own:
– Views of the marsh will be seriously obstructed from Lea Bridge Road and the integrity of our valued Lea Valley marshes as a green lung for East London will be compromised.
 Noise pollution will be an issue for local residents, particularly at Essex Wharf, and especially during the night where they already have to put up with an incessant hum which I remember well from the days of the community protection camp on the marsh. Light pollution will also increase and inevitably affect wildlife.
– Ground contamination must be considered since the site is contaminated by heavy metals, asbestos and alkaline soils, as well as known UXOs. Assurances that this will be dealt with ‘appropriately’ just do not wash, considering that spoil from the previous development had to be removed as toxic waste, and not before marsh users had been exposed to contaminants.
– Expandability: one of the most concerning aspects of the chosen site is that it is preferred due to its potential for expansion. Our community love this marsh and do not wish to see it built on. The stables have already seen 12 expansions on to previously open public land on Leyton Marshes. This is a worrying precedent.
– Car parking: the current car park is rarely full, a bigger car park will lead to yet more felling of trees and reduction of green space and yet a bigger venue will no doubt have one. An increase in car parking will increase traffic, congestion and air pollution on the Lea Bridge Road. The Mini Holland scheme, which has just led to the destruction of mature trees on the marsh, was meant to reduce reliance on cars.
– ‘Development, Development, Development‘  Leyton Marsh acts as a buffer for the SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) on Walthamstow Marsh.  Walthamstow Marsh is rapidly getting enclosed and cut off. I understand that there are plans for a housing development  on Argall Road on the other side of the railway line, there is Riverside Close on the other side of the river and now there is the threat of development on Leyton Marsh.
– Low Spec: One of the reasons Eton Manor was not selected as the prime venue is due to the higher building spec that would be required, suggesting the building on Lea Bridge Road will be visually poor, not unlike the current building.

Hackney Marshes

Please send the following email to Hackney Council to object their plan to remove the condition for a reduction in car parking spaces, promised at the PINS inquiry:


By email:

To Whom It May Concern,

I would like to make the following objection to application 2016/1018.

Hackney proposes to abandon the already permitted proposal to reduce car parking at North Marsh as stated in its application to the Planning Inspectorate. I object to this alteration for the following reasons:

1. Hackney had already decided the levels of parking needed for non-electrical vehicles at North Marsh. Hackney had already decided what was an appropriate level of parking at North Marsh which included a programme of gradual reduction over a period of years. There is no reason to change that level of parking provision as the circumstances at North Marsh have not changed. If the original proposal was deemed appropriate and there has been no change in circumstances it is hard to see why the level of parking already argued for by Hackney should now be changed. Hackney insisted this level of parking met the needs of those using the facilities and defended this level of parking in the face of objections. But now not only does it disown its earlier opinion but it wishes to raise the level of parking from what it would have been once the agreed reductions had been completed.

2. The decision is inconsistent with the decision reached by the Planning Inspector. The Planning Inspector's decision was based on the planing proposal put forward by Hackney. This included a reduction in the number of spaces for ordinary vehicles. The alteration in parking for electrical vehicles required by the Inspector has no bearing on the parking provision for other vehicles. The Inspector did not make any suggestion there should be an alteration in parking provision for other vehicles when she ruled against providing charging points for electrical vehicles.

3. Opportunity for environmental improvement. The alteration in parking provision for electrical vehicles has given Hackney the opportunity to further enhance the site and reduce its environmental impact by returning more ground to nature. Hackney declared that limiting the environmental impact was one of its objectives when presenting its proposals for the North Marsh facilities. Yet, instead of taking advantage of this opportunity, Hackney has instead decided to increase the parking provision over time from the levels it would otherwise have allowed. This runs counter to its objectives of creating an environmentally sustainable facility.

4. Contrary to policy on encouraging non-car usage. Furthermore by allowing for extra parking at North Marsh Hackney is contradicting its declared policy of seeking wherever possible to reduce car usage and to encourage alternative means of transport by restricting car parking. This proposal breaches that policy.

5. Proposal will increase air pollution in this neighbourhood at a time when children are present. This will increase air pollution in this neighbourhood from the level it would otherwise have fallen to if this parking had continued to be reduced in line with the already agreed proposal. In particular this will affect children, who are particularly vulnerable to pollution, who use this facility for sports.

6. Alterations to car parking at East Marsh are irrelevant. Hackney has included reference to East Marsh in this application. The alterations at East Marsh have no bearing on car parking at North Marsh. Each car park is a separate entity and is designed to meet the needs of each location. Hackney argued in defence of its proposal for a car park at North Marsh that this was needed as people would not or could not walk from the Hackney Marsh Centre to use the facilities at North Marsh. In other words, the other car parks were not able to meet the needs of those using North Marsh. The loss of East Marsh car parking therefore has no effect on the car parking available at East Marsh. It is entirely irrelevant to those needs. As stated above Hackney has already decided what level of car parking is required at North Marsh, including the proposed reduction. The loss of car parking at East Marsh does not affect those calculations so there is no need to refer to this loss.

7. Alterations to elctrical car parking is also irrelevant. Likewise the loss of electrical car parking makes no difference to the provision of non-electrical car parking. The provision of non-electrical car parking was decided on its own basis and Hackney had stated that this was sufficient under the original proposal, a proposal argued both before the Planning Committee and before the Planning Inspector.

Hackney should uphold its original proposal for all the above reasons.

Thank you for your help in assuring that whatever sports facilities are built, as much green public space is preserved for future generations and wildlife as possible.

Copyright © 2016 Save Lea Marshes, All rights reserved.
You signed up for this email by contacting us directly or ticking a sign up sheet on a petition.

Our mailing address is:
Save Lea Marshes
c/o The Hornbeam Centre
458 Hoe St
Walthamstow, London E17 9AH
United Kingdom

Add us to your address book