Sunday, 27 July 2014

Lea Valley Green Flag Awards

Green Flag Awards

SLM Weekly Digest 25-7-14

This is the Weekly Digest of Save Lea Marshes,  an open group of local people in the Lea Valley area concerned with the welfare of the diversity of species that inhabit the marsh lands and green spaces around and ensuring that local people have a voice in keeping green space, open, free and in good bio-diverse condition.
This week - heat-waves, thunderous downpours and a narrow miss of the earth by sun activity that could have taken us back to the 18th century (according to internet news).  Nationally and locally these are some of the other events that have been hitting the on-line sphere.  Firstly two bits of national news.
GREEN BLOB - environmental groups being referred to as a "green blob" by the outgoing Environmental Secretary, Owen Patterson, is not an issue to be sneezed at.   Complaining that the Green Party and other green bodies don't represent the people, off he goes to join Nigel Lawson's climate change deniers..
CRONEYISM - Wednesday's Guardian 23 July, p.10 reports that the new chair of the Environment Agency, is Sir Philip Dilley, a former business adviser to David Cameron and previous chairman of Arup, a firm which has undertaken work for the fracking company Cuadrilla.  According to the article he will net a salary of £100,000 for a three day week (nice), whilst being an impartial chair advising on whether Cuardrilla will get drilling rights or should that be "wrongs".
ON ENGLAND'S PLEASANT MABLEY GREEN - having been postponed from the beginning of the month, the date has been set for the 30 July for the London Borough of Hackney Planning Sub Committee will now consider its report on Mabley Green All Weather Sports Pitch; Edible Park, play area ...  It is a long and detailed report, which also includes mention again of the plans for the pavilion on Hackney Marshes as part of an on-going overall idea to "create a world class sport, health and wellbeing hub" - enough said!  The Mabley Green Users Group have complained to LBH about its failure to inform them again of the report going to committee and not listing its objections regarding the all weather pitch.  To see the report go to 
CROSS RAIL 2  CONTINUED - we have received information that the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority has commented on the Consultation Options to the effect that it broadly supports Cross Rail 2, recognising the improvement to transport services.  However, it also recognises that it could adversely affect access to the park.  The Authority says it could not support any scheme which would result in an incursion into the SSSI and wishes to be contacted directly in the future.  This is reasonably encouraging news at this stage.  The consultation closes tonight...
OXBOW VISIT - L.B .Hackney Councillor Ian Rathbone, organised a visit with three officials from the Canals and River Trust (CaRT) and a local resident - the LVRPA were also invited but didn't turn up- to take an informative walk around the area and discuss concerns including weed control.  CaRT seemed reluctant to meet the cost of removing the land bridge connected to the Kings Head Bridge due to the cost estimated at between £25-35k and said that recent spraying of pesticide on the bridge was to prevent further damage to the bridge.  
RUBBISH SCULPTURE - this item, as mentioned last week, continues to be a subject of correspondence, largely around the consultation issues.
Walthamstow Garden Party 26-27 July at Lloyd Park, behind William Morris Gardens.  With assistance from the Barbican - this free event including music from the Brand New Heavies, will be taking place see  We have also heard that following action fromWaltham Forest 4 Dogs, this event will be open to dogs under the proper control of their owners and also resulting from this, LBWF have drawn up new guidelines about the notification of what events can and cannot admit dogs and their proper care.
News from Clapton Pond Neighbourhood Action Group concerning a chance to view and comment on plans for 38-40 Upper Clapton Road, E5 known as "The Tramshed".  This is being organised by Mapify Upper Clapton Hackshop Upper Clapton Ltd and Voist - see on 30-31 July 2-8 p.m. at the Round Chapel, Lower Clapton Road E5.  Locals will know that this site, formerly as the name suggests a tram depot but latterly as a place for small businesses, artists and some live-in workspace has been under threat of the usual kind of "shove em up, put in as many as possible.." kind of housing development, despite it being designated by LBH as a "Priority Employment Area".  There were several goes at getting the development through the Planning Committee and local campaigners wanted to establish the Clapton Arts Trust in this heritage building.  Now, plans by new owners, the site ,( which stands empty of former gallery space and small businesses), can be viewed at these sessions.  Wednesday could be a busy night for Claptonites going to this and then on to the Planning Sub Committee ...
Nothing to do with the .. marshes - except that those of you who have viewed our sales webpage, might have spotted three guys modelling our campaign tee shirts (sadly a size too small!) - this is the internationally known a cappella folk band Coope, Boyes and Simpson, who will be performing as part of an In Flanders Fields Peace Concert at Kings Place (The Guardian Building), York Way, N1 on Monday 25 August tickets available from  For more details of the band and their music go to 
Save Lea Marshes regular fortnightly open meeting won't be happening as usual this week - we're going to be putting up a team at a local Quiz night, to hopefully win funds for our campaign coffers.  The next meeting will probably be the following Monday but we'll keep you informed.
AND FINALLY - following our request to ask readers to write a complaint to the LVRPA about the hoggin path plans last week, it has been suggested that we provide a "model template" for you to use and/or adapt.  I had hoped to send it out as an attachment to the digest but we're just doing the final "dotting the i's and crossing the t's and will send it out to the digest list as soon as possible.

Friends of Regent Canal

Dear Friends,

The minutes of our recent public meeting are now available on our website. They contain links to documents and presentations and you are welcome to comment on them or circulate them. You will find them on the following web page:-
Our next public meeting is likely to take place in September shortly after the Angel Canal Festival. The agenda will include a discussion on anti-social behaviour on the canal and towpath. This might cover aggressive cycling, careless jogging, amplified music, obstructions, littering, vandalism and any other causes of complaints that we receive. We can look at ways of reporting and suppressing incidents and one of our objectives should be to lure back the many walkers who are currently deterred from enjoying the canal. If you would like to contribute to this discussion then please contact me directly.
Please keep an eye on the events page of our website ( to find out how you can get involved and visit our home page for updates on consultations and other news.

If anybody would like to arrange ad-hoc social events or meetings to discuss special interests then do not hesitate to contact us and we can advertise them to others via our Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Best wishes,

Ian Shacklock
Chair, Friends of Regent's Canal

Please visit our website -
and visit/follow us on Twitter -
and visit/join our Facebook group -

Boat Moorings

Hi Stella,

I wonder if you are fully aware of what the LVRPA have been getting up to down on Leyton Marsh by the river bank? You will probably know that they have put in a planning application to LBWF for installing mooring posts along the river bank and constructing what is known as a'hoggin path'. I have complained to Lea Bridge councillors about both of these, knowing that the LVRPA had at the same time erected signs declaring "Private Mooring". My grounds for complaint have been firstly that in the current dire shortage of housing it is appalling that a publicly-funded body is seeking to limit the ability of boat-dwellers to reside in this part of the river. Secondly I have pointed out that the area where the path is to be developed is in MOL, SSSI and other special protection status and therefore should not be further disturbed.

However the matter is now blowing up out of a local context. The following has come to light from a friend:

  • The LVRPA has unlawfully created and brought into use rented residential moorings without planning permission. 
  • There are complaints about this currently under investigation by Waltham Forest planning enforcement.
  • The current planning application for the mooring posts and hoggin path does not appear to be applying for such permission.
  • Many if not all the boats at the new moorings on Leyton Marsh who are now paying rent to the LVRPA  are occupied as the full time main residence of the occupants. The moorings should require residential planning permission for the LVRPA to operate them legitimately as a commercial concern.
  • The LVRPA have colluded in encouraging boat owners to sign agreements that prohibit overnight staying on the boats, in the knowledge that they will be immediately in breach of their contracts and this illustrates the cynicism of the LVRPA and their intention to raise revenue by fair means or foul. Boat dwellers are being abused as they are paying for mooring agreements which give them no rights of residence beyond those they had previously. 

I believe that Waltham Forest should not be approving an application that seeks to provide facilities in support of an unauthorised land usage which is currently under investigation. It would appear that the LVRPA are acting unlawfully as they do not have powers to provide moorings for residential use.

Stella, this is happening in your constituency, but the impact of what's happening to the boat-dwellers spreads to neighbouring areas. Will you convey to LVRPA your disapproval of their actions? Will you liaise with your fellow Lea-riparian MPs?

I hope to hear from you soon.

Best wishes,


SLM Weekly Digest 26-7-14

This is the Weekly Digest of Save Lea Marshes - fighting to keep our greens green.  See our for further information about our work and current campaigns.
This has been a busy week of outrage.  A round-up of what's been discussed and of concern to people with a keen interest in land and environment issues, locally and nationally.
HOGGIN HOCUS POCUS - the wish of the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA), would seem to be the command of the Waltham Forest Planning Committee.  Yet again, they are seeking retrospective approval for work partially completed.  A report will be presented to the Planning Committee on Tuesday 1 July, concerning the installation of boat mooring posts (already in place) and a Hoggin pathway (vegetation cleared in preparation).  The report notes that there is a lot of public opposition but considers many of the complaints outside of the planning committee brief.  SLM members will be present at the committee to speak against.  Amongst our concerns are:
that the report should not be presented whilst on going complaints have not been answered; that the LVRPA is trying to push through "residential" moorings under the guise of "leisure" moorings; have used underhand tactics to "divide and rule" boaters and also that the Hoggin path (a mixture of gravel, sand and other aggregate), is unnecessary and not environmentally sound - disputing the committee report's words 'not expected to be harmful impact on ecological habitats'...
PROUD TO BE NIMBY'S - still in Waltham Forest.  We reported a few weeks ago about the Waltham Forest Growth Commission.  There is an interesting article see , with Adviser Tony Travers, of the London School of Economics (he who regularly pops up on our TV screens when ever London is mentioned), saying:  "getting past local opposition and those who act to protect green spaces, is the biggest barrier to house-building - who ever is in power".  Quite rightly so, Mr. Travers.  Perhaps you might question who profits from building and why so little of this housing goes to the people that need it.
EATON MANOR MESS - yes we are still in Waltham Forest - a report went to Executive Committee on 15 May which agreed that the allotments be moved to Marsh Lane to make way for a 'temporary meadow' at Eaton Manor at a cost of £480k with £160k coming from the LVRPA enough said? 
ENGLAND'S GREEN AND PRESENT LAND last week we were wondering what happened regarding the Infrastructure Bill and the land underneath our feet being threatened.  It was discussed at the House of Lords on Wednesday.  This Bill has been described as a 'targeted mess of unrelated issues'.  But what these issues have in common is the land on which we stand - e.g. the right to carry out fracking underneath anyone's premises and the sell off of the Land Registry.  A good article to read on this was on page 31 of 'The Guardian' on Tuesday 24 June, by George Monbiot under the heading of 'Beware the small print that threatens all public land'.
PARKLIFE - The Heritage Lottery have published a new report called 'State of Uk Parks 2014 Renaissance to risk' which describes how our parks are now among the most highly used public assets but are under threat by our cash-strapped local authorities considering selling them or transferring to another body.  Further information can also be gained from the London Green Spaces Federation Network.
BEES ON THEIR KNEES - this week's campaign of the week:  Tuesday is the closing date to sign a petition headed towards David Cameron concerning a large company Sygenta's request to use its Neonicotinoid pesticide in the UK, when it has been banned in Europe.  For further information I would direct you to the front page/p.11 of 'The Guardian' on Tuesday 24 June headed 'Pest sprays put world food supplies at risk, say scientists' and also see  for confirmation of just how dangerous this group of pesticides is to our wildlife, food and human health.  Sign the petition at   Meanwhile, re. Glysophate and 'Roundup' there is horrific research on how use of this pesticide affects human health by an MIT professor, Dr. Stephanie Seneff - in which she attributes its use to the growth of a long list of ailments and health problems from Autism to Crohn's disease. 
CONTRACTOR-ITUS -  one of our dogged members has found out that the LVRPA's new contractor for grass cutting, Glendale, has attracted some criticism from other areas where they operate see - we're not impressed to say the least so far ...
MAYBE, MABLEY GREEN - a report on plans for Mabley Green's edible park and new sports pitch go to Hackney Planning Committee on 2 July.  Mabley Green (Hackney Marsh and Kingsmead), also features in the new edition of 'Hackney Today", as one of three the designated L.B. Hackney/Walk 4 Life map areas for 'Hackney Wildlife Walks for kids to take their parents on!'  This is based on an idea originally tried out in the Lake District.  The other areas are Haggerston to Hoxton and Woodberry Down & West Reservoir.  Let's hope they find some wildlife...
A TOUCH OF THE WOODBERRY DOWNS - whilst mentioning Woodberry Downs, I confess I coughed and spluttered through another article in 'Hackney Today', about the Woodberry Down Estate regeneration fun day.  Cllr. Philip Glanville, Cabinet Member for Housing said ' It was great to see so many residents enjoying the fun day, and finding out how we're regenerating the estate, replacing unfit for purpose properties with high quality new homes and community facilities' (cough) does he mean the (high quality), leaning tower that has many investment lettings in it?  Or some of the remaining houses, where people who bought their prime sited homes are not being offered a fair price in today's market?  I wonder?
It's Herbal Medicine Week (21-29 June), and Qualified Medical Herbalist extraordinaire, Elsa Hamaz will be doing a guided herbal walk around the Robin Hood Community Garden at the bottom of Big Hill in E5 from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday 29 June.  People will be invited to try and sample.  For those of you who have never visited, the Robin Hood is a lovely reclaimed space, near where the former pub the Robin Hood formerly stood.
Doing 'The East End Walk' - on Sunday 6 July starting at 2.00 at the Bromley-by-Bow Tube Station (District Line) and finishing at Stratford at around 4.30.  As well as getting exercise, this walk has a purpose to bring people and groups together to take a look at the area post Olympics, and ask is it really better?  The walk is free but donations to support the newspaper o the Action East End Group 'The Howler' would be welcomed.

The next meeting of SLM will be at the Princess of Wales, Lea Bridge Road at 7.00 p.m. on Monday 30 June(outside if the weather is good - inside if not!).  All welcome.

SLM Weekly Digest 18-7-14

This is the Weekly Digest of Save Lea Marshes a group of local people trying to keep the marshes and other green spaces as a priority area for wildlife and for people to enjoy such a space.  Welcome to new people on the mailing list.
On line discussion and news circulating this week includes:
PETITIONS CAN WORK - sometimes it feels like a losing battle when petitions seem to be ignored.  However, this week two glimmers of hope.  Firstly, Climate Change Denier, Owen Patterson gets blasted out of the Department for the Environment, perhaps influenced by the 65k plus petition organised by Greenpeace.  Not wanting to rest on laurels (or other shrubs) Greenpeace are urging people to email the incoming Minister Liz Truss, to meet with chief climate change scientists.  You can add your voice at  Secondly, the Government has curtailed its plan to privatise the Land Registry, having received a petition of over 100k signatures.  As mentioned in previous digests, this could have not only been a possible privacy threat to property owners but also be detrimental to environmental campaigners.  We will await to see if this plan re-emerges in the next Tory Manifesto.
GIVE IT A TRY - on the subject of campaigning we would like to urge everyone on our mailing list to write a letter of complaint to the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA) about its plans to put a hoggin path on Leyton Marsh.  When the London Borough of Waltham Forest, voted through planning permission on 1 July, it was mainly on the misunderstanding of the Planning Committee thinking that this would provide better buggy and wheelchair access for users of the marsh.  SLM disputes this, not because we don't want to welcome all people to the marshes but because this particular path is not a "through" path - it is a path to moorings which the LVRPA have effectively privatised.  We are also concerned that a substantial amount of habit will be cut back and the current earth path will be replaced with the hoggin - a combination of clay, gravel and sand, not that good for wheeled vehicles or to walk on but harmful to the ecosystem in an area that is a "site of special scientific interest and a site of metropolitan importance for nature conservation and as such should be protected.  So we urge you all to write to Shaun Dawson, CEO of the LVRPA at  to stop them from putting this path down.
LVRPA TRUST ANNOUNCEMENT - We have heard that the chair of the new Lee Valley Leisure Trust - a body specifically formed to deal with the sports, recreation and leisure facilities of the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority  (in essence, with apologies to Vegans - the meat on the bone).  The Chair will be Del Goddard, Director of Urban Futures, a regeneration company and former Cabinet Member for Regeneration.. at the London Borough of Enfield.  He was, until recently, Enfield representative on the LVRPA.  Four other board members are due to be appointed.
BOLLARDS - SLM has contacted Hackney Council about the loosening of the bollards at Hackney Main Marsh.  This is where a group of Travellers drove onto the marsh and did some damage earlier in the year.  We don't want to see more vehicles drive on to the Marsh.
GLYSOPHATE - an SLM member has complained to the Canals and Rivers Trust about suspected use of Glysophate on Kings Head and Princes of Wales Bridges.  Response is awaited.
49 - this is the significant number of people that the LVRPA consulted about the proposed Rubbish Sculptures on Leyton Marsh.  No one in SLM who has attended the Forum or Workshop meetings, seems to have been asked.  An SLM member sent an FOI about the openness of the selection process for the artist.  We are told that this is part of an on-going process of work, that the artists confidentiality has to be respected and that financially this can be sanctioned by officers without being expensive enough to go through committee.  Never-the-less it would have been nice to have seen some democracy in inviting tenders at work.
MAKING TRACKS - two items of railway related news.  Firstly, an SLM supporter and Local resident has written to the London Borough of Waltham Forest about the delay in the plans to revive the old station on the Lea Bridge Road.  Apart from funding, there also appears to be a problem with Japanese Knotweed on the old station platform... Secondly, we have been informed by a local blogger from South Tottenham that major track work and a junction from the planned Crossrail 2, could affect the marshes and a local park.  The Consultation Process is open until 25 July. see  This looks alarming!
BUTTERFLIES - the charity Butterfly Conservation hopes that thousands of participants will take part in the Big Butterfly Count - spending 15 minutes in parks, gardens etc. over the next three weeks to log sightings.  It is reckoned to be a good year - so get out there and spot.
AND BEES - Go on to the BBC IPlayer and listen to the programme aired this week on Radio 4 A Letter to the Bees if you missed it.
Waltham Forest Civic Society (aim:  "To preserve the best and improve the rest in Waltham Forest"), will be having a meeting, with speakers and discussion to look at the scope for increased community ownership of pubs, other buildings and green spaces.  This will be taking place on Thursday 24 July starting at 7.15 at the Hare & Hounds pub, 278 Lea Bridge Road, E10 7LD  Please bring a pen - there will be an opportunity to sign a petition for the pub itself to become a community asset.  There will be good food on the menu too.
The campaign to try and get London's green space registered as Greater London National Park is holding an informative coffee morning at Camley Street Natural Park, 12 Camley Street N1C 4BW on 27 August at 10-12 midday.  There will be a further campaign meeting in September.  For further information contact Daniel Raven-Ellison  RSVP to attend. 
Our friends at Friends of Belair Park tell us of a Great North Wood Walk happening on Sunday 3 August running from 12 - 4. p.m.  This is being jointly organised by London Wildlife Trust and Friends of One Tree and others.  Meet at Honor Oak Park.  Further details see 
In the sole interest of promoting better mowing regimes in the Lea Valley Area - I am adding in that the LVRPA are organising a three day event which includes a scything workshop (£5 and needs to be booked via, and other free events over three days, such as picnic from 1st-3rd August see www.h-a-y-s-t-a-c-k-s.net08456770600 

Next SLM meeting - the next scheduled meeting will be substituted for an SLM team to take part in a quiz at the Crooked Billett in Hackney for fundraising and social purposes.  We'll confirm the date of the next open Monday meeting but it will probably be 11 August at Princess of Wales in Hackney.

SLM Weekly Digest 11-7-14

This is the Weekly Digest of Save Lea Marshes - a group of local people, who formed in response to the building of a "temporary basketball training facility" on Leyton Marsh as part of the Olympics in 2012, and now continue to try to keep Leyton Marsh, surrounding marshes and other green spaces in the Lea Valley as green as possible, with priority for nature and the enjoyment of people.  We have an active website which includes a shop page, with a growing range of items to raise money to support our work.
Topics that have been discussed by email exchange, are mentioned in the media and generally around that concern our area this week include:
PESTICIDES - previous coverage in the Weekly Digest has mentioned two types of the various substances that chemical companies, farmers and municipal authorities are intent on spraying us all with.  One of these Neonictionoids, is featured in a "Guardian" report (Thursday 10 July, p.13), describing how a new Dutch study shows that 95% of the toxin spreads beyond crops and is considered by this study to be one of the biggest contributors to the loss of birds and bees during the period of 2003-2010..  This article is well worth reading in full.  Meanwhile back in Hackney, the Mayor after receiving evidence from the Glysophate campaign is sticking to his view that, the quantities of Glysophate and its well known brand name "Roundup", used are not sufficient to cause a threat.  The campaign will respond.  Authorities always stick to the status quo e.g. "The Guardian" article quotes a Defra spokesperson "Pesticide use (in) Europe is tightly regulated ... (pesticides) are a safe, effective and economical means of managing crops.  We continue to review evidence on neonicotinoids."  I remember my Gran, who along with others from that generation, for years had a Flit Gun and a roll of sticky paper hanging from the ceiling in her home to keep flies at bay.  These contained DDT and are now banned.
LITER-ARTY - An SLM member sent a complaint to the Lea Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA), about the lack of consultation and use of ODA licence money (forthcoming from the Basketball Training Centre building scheme), for sculptures featuring litter on the marshes at a cost of £3,000.  The LVRPA sent a reply which pointed out that ODA funds were agreed to be split between community projects, a mural art project (already completed) and habitat enhancement projects, now in process.  However, the LVRPA's own report (20 June 2013, which refers back to a previous report of 15 December 2011), states that:   "Income of £73,000 from the ODA to projects in the area and following consultation with the user forum, the forum agreed to outreach and engagement works over a three year period, including an arts project (my highlighting), guided walks/talks and volunteer activity sessions.  Further habitat enhancement will be subject to further consultation at the forum following the results of the flora surveys currently underway."  Now it might seem pedantic, but as the Forum, was disbanded and replaced by Workshops (without consultation), and there hasn't been one since March (the next one is in September), it is an example of how the word "consultation" gets misused.
A couple of SLM members braved the traffic to head to the LVRPA's AGM yesterday.  Unfortunately, we got stuck in said traffic and missed the beginning.  However, we were in time to catch the CEO's glowing presentation to the committee, who seemed most animated when it came to discussing how the cafés at the post-Olympic venues had improved, since the LVRPA took over.  Other notable points included, how complaints had gone up; website visits had increased (could these be connected?) and how the team was doing more consultations with users (throat and stick..).  The Chair also said it was a shame that the Environment Agency and the Canals and Rivers Trust, hadn't sent anyone.  No mention of the public!  
MOORINGS - we hear that following a request from a Waltham Forest citizen, the Walthamstow MP, Stella Creasy, will be visiting Leyton Marsh soon...
ORIENT WAY - the London Borough of Waltham Forest has replied to a stage 2 complaint about the clearing of vegetation here, saying that it was managed in "accordance of its Open Spaces Strategy".  However, it did not mention that the complaint specifically mentioned that the works were carried out during the bird breeding season and that this is against the law.  The borough's Open Spaces Strategy, also refers to the Marsh Lane area as being one of its bio-diverse areas - ho, hum!
NEW OLYMPIC LEGACY CHIEF - this week's "Hackney Gazette" "Parklife insert", tells us that there is to be a replacement to Denis Hone, the current Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation" in September by David Goldstone, CBE, an accountant, currently Chief Financial Officer at Transport for London.  Mr. Goldstone has previous (experience) having played "a major role" in delivering the 2012 Games.  There is also a feature on new art on hoardings around the Chobham Manor development, influenced by the "Bayeaux Tapestry".
VOLUNTARY ACTION WALTHAMSTOW - we have been updated on current funding, training and events from this excellent and supportive Council for Voluntary Action.  One event from this source are included below.
EVENTS - Walthamstow Village Fete will be happening on 2 August 13.00-18.00 at Orford Road, Walthamstow.  Further information from or phone 0208 223 0707 - there will lots of stalls, art etc.
St. John's Church Fete is this Saturday from 1.00 to 5ish. at St. John's Church, Hackney.  This is always a lively local Hackney event.
The Community Tree Nursery, with the Hackney Marsh Users Group, Hackney is organising a walk, talk and a bit of hands on work session on Sunday 13th July from 2- until Tea Time at the Tree Nursery.  Bring picnic (water and tea will be available) and wear suitable clothing. 

Next SLM meeting is at the Hare & Hounds pub, on Lea Bridge Road, Leyton at 7.30 p.m.  All welcome.

SLM Weekly Digest 3-7-14

This is the Weekly Digest of Save Lea Marshes - a local campaign group trying to preserve and maintain the marshes of the Lea Valley area and other local spaces for the benefit of wildlife and local people.  See our 

On- line discussion and issues this week have included:

BUGGIES V. BUGS - various members of SLM attended the London Borough of Waltham Forest's Planning Committee on Monday 1 July, for the application of the LVRPA's Hoggin (hogging?) path and mooring posts.  We had three speakers addressing the issues of: moorings and relationship to the Hoggin path; the illegality of residential use to which the path is an ancillary and the impact of the Hoggin path on the character and the nature of the marshes.  There had also been a formal request to get the report withdrawn (refused).   Additionally, we supplied the committee with photographs illustrating eleven of the insect species that live on the area in question and pictures of how much of the area is likely to be cleared for a new path. There was only one member of the newly elected committee that seem prepared to ask questions e.g. "As the proposed path was near Sandy Lane, was it needed?".  Two Councillors spoke on the need to have buggy and wheelchair access - without realising that this is "not a through path".  We requested to make clarifications but the Chair, refused.  So with one abstention vote, the LBWF Planning Committee wafted through another LVRPA incremental assault on the green space it is supposed to be protecting for its own profit and in effect acting outside of its is Parliamentary statute.  Anyone hanging on to the idea that the democratic system works, would have had that view severely questioned by the way this meeting went.  Whilst the general public are advised to stick to purely planning issues, the Chair thinks it is his prerogative to make a comment not relevant to the topic under discussion, but to state that in his opinion "Leyton Marsh had been restored to its former state" (which even LVRPA evidence challenges).  Supposedly, this was to incite some reaction from us, particularly as at least one of our speakers had gone out of their way to be extra polite in a plea to get them to listen!  This committee clearly cannot grasp the damage incremental development has on habitat or spot a money making scheme hiding under the guise of "an improvement". 
STADIUM LED REGENERATION - the London Assembly Regeneration Committee are conducting an examination into stadium-led regeneration and how it affects local communities.  This refers primarily to the West Ham football club's take over of the 54k seat Olympic Stadium at a cost of £154m. (do the maths).  People are invited to send in their comments see 
HUMPH OVER THE HUMP - SLM are currently monitoring the movements of pedestrians, cyclists, dogs and motorists over Cow Bridge on to the Hackney Marsh at the weekends.  So far, statistics reveal that more cars than cyclists or walkers/runners are entering the marsh using this route.  SLM's concerns are over safety and limiting the impact of the adverse environmental effects of car use on green space.
CUTTING REMARKS - we are currently questioning why Tottenham Marshes are treated differently to Leyton Marsh by the LVRPA's mowing regimes.  The LVRPA are saying that they are following Natural England's recommendations for Tottenham by cutting on a three year programme but doing something entirely different, further down river ...
PETITION OF THE WEEK - many of you will have already seen this but in case you haven't.  38 Degrees currently have a petition to try and say a hay meadow in Warwickshire.  The local wildlife trust want to save it, but evidently Natural England have changed their minds and would seem to be in violation of the UN Aarhus Treaty.  That we have lost 98 per cent of meadow land since WW2 in this country, should be enough incentive not to lose any more. see
ART IMITATING REAL LIFE - over in mythical Ambridge, the anti-road campaign is getting underway and they are talking about T shirts and fundraising - it was a timely reminder to mention that SLM "leading where the Archers chooses to follow .." has its own campaigning T shirt and a gradually growing list of other goodies - e.g. a new poetry book about the marshes and a forthcoming SLM calendar.  Also, if you have an event, where we could sell T shirts etc., we'd be pleased to know.
Firstly, a reminder about the East End Walk on Sunday 6 July - meeting at Bromley-by-Bow tube station (District Line) at 2.00 p.m. and finishing at Stratford around 4.30. p.m.  This would be a good opportunity to discuss the London Assembly's review (mentioned above).
Waltham Forest Friends of the Earth are having a gathering in Kitchener Park on Saturday 5th July at 11.30, followed by "Mill's Summer BeeZaar" with information about FoE's current Bee campaigns, including the opportunity to sign the petition against pesticide use.

Also on Saturday, DIGs is having its Summer Picnic at 4.0 0 p.m. on Hackney Downs, E5, with food and games.  This will follow on from a Focus E15 campaign walk for decent housing.  Meeting time for this is 12.00 Central Park, East Ham E6.  Further details from
The Tour de France - comes to East London on Monday 7th July.  For details of the route and how transport will be affected, the "Hackney Gazette" has a special pull out.
There is an Urban Harvest Walk on Wednesday 9th July, to gather Meadowsweet blossom on Walthamstow Marsh.  Meet outside the Riverside Café at the bottom of Spring Hill, E5 9BL at 2.00 p.m.  It has to be sunny for this walk to take place so, if in doubt, ring Joan on 0790838905.

Next SLM meeting is on Monday 14th July at 7.30 at the Hare and Hounds pub, Leyton on Lea Bridge Road.  Newcomers welcomed.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Funding for the Eton Manor Legacy Transformation

The LVRPA is seeking funds to complete the landscaping of the Eton Manor site.

To download pdf follow link

Request for funding for Eton Manor

Hoggin Path - Officers report


Committee/Date: Planning - 01 July 2014
Application reference: 2014/0844
Applicant: Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
Location: Leyton Marsh, Lea Bridge Road, London E10 7QL
Proposed development: Formation of 220m long new hoggin path along river
bank and installation of 32 mooring posts
Wards affected: Lea Bridge
Appendices: N/A

1.1 GRANT planning permission subject to conditions
- There is significant public interest

3.1 The site comprises a section of river bank on the eastern side of the
River Lea, close to Lee Valley Ice Centre on the Lea Bridge Road. The
site is in Leyton Marsh, an area of Metropolitan Open Land (MOL), a
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Site of Metropolitan
Importance for Nature Conservation within the Lee Valley Regional
3.2 The application relates to the proposed formation of a 220m long new
hoggin path as well as a series of 32 mooring posts.
3.3 According to the submitted information, boats have moored along this
section of the river for many years. The application seeks to improve
the current earthen path with a more durable hoggin path, and create
new mooring posts to provide more convenient and tidier mooring for
the boats.
3.4 A hoggin path is a pedestrian path composed of an equal mixture of
clay, gravel and sand. It has a natural appearance appropriate to more
sensitive locations. It will be level with the surrounding ground and will
not be edged. It is 0.6m wide.
3.5 The mooring posts are 0.3m high, coloured white and set in concrete
bases with top soil above. They are installed at 7m intervals along the
riverbank. This part of the development (the installation of the posts)
has already been carried out.
4.1 There is no relevant planning history for this site.
Page 43 Agenda Item 53(Item 5.1)
5.1 Notification letters were sent on 1 May 2014 to 71 properties in the
flatted development on the opposite river bank. A series of site notices
were placed on both sides of the river bank on 6 May 2014.
6.1 Adopted Waltham Forest Core Strategy 2012
6.2 The Waltham Forest Core Strategy (2012) was adopted in March 2012.
The Core Strategy contains 16 policies designed to deliver the
Council’s vision for the physical, economic, environmental and social
development of the Borough. These policies will be used to direct and
manage development and regeneration activity for the next 15 years,
up to 2026.
6.3 The policies considered relevant to this application are as follows:
6.3.1 CS5: Enhancing Green Infrastructure and Biodiversity
6.3.2 CS13: Promoting Health and Well Being
6.3.3 CS15: Well Designed Buildings, Places and Spaces

6.4 Waltham Forest Local Plan Development Management Policies 2013
6.5 The Local Plan Development Management Policies Document was
adopted in November 2013. This sets out the borough-wide policies
that implement the Core Strategy and delivering the long term spatial
vision and strategic place shaping objectives. There is an emphasis on
collaboration and a positive proactive approach to reaching a balance
agreement that solves problems rather than a compromise that fails to
meet objectives. The following policies are relevant in this case:
DM12 - Open Space, Sports and Recreation
DM29 - Design Principles, Standards and Local Distinctiveness

6.6 London Plan 2011
6.7 The London Plan is the overall strategic plan for London, and it sets out
a fully integrated economic, environmental, transport and social
framework for the development of the capital to 2031. It was adopted in
July 2011.
6.8 The Lee Valley Regional Park Plan (2000) contains the policies and
objectives for the Lee Valley Regional Park. The emerging Lee Valley
Park Development Framework will establish the authority’s aspirations
and specific proposals for the future use and development of the
Regional Park.

7.1 NPPF
7.1.1 The National Planning Policy Framework sets out the Government’s
planning policies for England and how these are expected to be
Page 44(Item 5.1)
applied. It is a material consideration in planning decisions. It contains
a presumption in favour of sustainable development, described as “a
golden thread running through both plan-making and decision-taking.”
7.1.2 For decision-taking the NPPF states that the presumption means
“approving development proposals that accord with the development
plan without delay” and where the development plan is “absent, silent
or relevant policies are out-of-date, granting permission unless adverse
impacts would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits,
when assessed against the policies in the Framework as a whole; “
7.1.3 The whole of the NPPF is potentially material to this application, but the
specific policy areas considered directly relevant are as follows: Requiring good design Conserving and enhancing the natural environment
7.2 Local Finance Considerations
7.2.1 Local Finance Considerations are a material consideration in the
determination of all planning applications. Local Finance
Considerations can include either a grant that has been or would be
given to the Council from central government or money that the council
has received or will or could receive in terms of Community
Infrastructure Levy (CIL).
7.2.2 There are no grants which have been or will or could be received from
central government in relation to this development.
7.2.3 The Council has not received and does not expect to receive any
income from CIL in relation to this development.

8.1 One letter of objection has been received from the Mount Pleasant Hill
(Hackney) Management Company Ltd. A further seven objections have
been received from local residents. The objections are summarised as
8.1.1 Increased human activity will have an environmental impact. Comment:
This issue is considered later in this report.
8.1.2 The hoggin path is unnecessary as there is already a mud path.
Comment: Whether a development is strictly necessary is not a
material planning consideration.
8.1.3 The proposals will reduce the ‘wildness’ of this part of the riverbank.
Comment: This issue is considered later in this report.
8.1.4 The proposals will lead to a loss of wildlife habitat. Comment: This
issue is considered later in this report.
8.1.5 The proposals represent a ‘commercialisation’ or ‘privatisation’ of the
marsh. Comment: This is not a material planning consideration.
Page 45(Item 5.1)
8.1.6 The moorings require planning permission. Comment: This application
seeks permission for the installation of mooring posts and the new
towpath only.
8.1.7 The occupiers of the moored boats create a nuisance in terms of noise
and rubbish. Comment: It is understood that boats have been mooring
in this location for many years. This application does not seek
permission for the mooring, but for the path and installation of mooring
8.1.8 The Council failed to provide sufficient notification of the proposals to
local residents. Comment: As detailed in paragraph 5.1, a total of 71
letters were sent to residents living opposite the site and site notices
were erected on both sides of the riverbank. The Council has met its
obligations in respect of notification.
8.1.9 There are errors on the application form. In particular, it is not stated
that this is designated SSSI and MOL land. Comment: The Council are
aware of the designations affecting this site and have taken them into
account when assessing the application.
8.1.10 The applicant cut down much of the vegetation around the path prior to
submitting the application. Comment: This is not material to the
assessment of this application.
8.1.11 The mooring posts have already been installed. Comment: It is
acknowledged that the mooring posts have already been installed. The
Council can grant retrospective permission for the posts, if minded to
do so.

9.1 Hoggin paths are formed of clay, gravel and sand, and the proposed
path will therefore have a similar appearance to the existing
mud/earthen path. It will integrate with its surroundings in terms of its
visual appearance and is an appropriate addition to this sensitive
9.2 The existing path is uneven and becomes muddy when it rains,
representing a hazard and inconvenience to pedestrians. The new path
will improve accessibility along the riverbank, to the benefit of visitors to
the marsh.
9.3 The mooring posts are modest in size and scale (0.3m high) and do not
have a material visual impact on the sensitive Leyton Marsh location.
Posts of this type do not appear incongruous in a canal-side location.
9.4 Prior to the installation of the posts, boats moored in an ad hoc fashion,
using ropes and pins. Some of these ropes crossed the existing path,
creating a hazard to pedestrians and reducing the towpath’s
accessibility to the public.
9.5 Given the modest scale of the proposals and the use of natural
materials for the path, it is not likely that there will be any adverse
impact on the SSSI or the MOL.
Page 46(Item 5.1)
9.6 There is an existing towpath in this location and boats have been
mooring along the banks of the river for many years. The replacement
path and new moorings are not likely to lead to a material increase in
human activity in this location, and there is not expected to be a
harmful impact on ecological habitats.
9.7 The path replaces a similar path in the same location and will use
natural materials. It will improve the accessibility of the river bank. The
mooring posts are modest in size and scale and will not appear out of
place in this location. There will be no harmful impact on local wildlife
and ecology.

10.1 Public Sector Equality Duty
10.1.1 In making your decision you must have regard to the public sector
equality duty (PSED) under s.149 of the Equalities Act. This means that
the Council must have due regard to the need (in discharging its
functions) to:
 A. Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and
other conduct prohibited by the Act
B. Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a
protected characteristic and those who do not. This may include
removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by persons who share
a relevant protected characteristic that are connected to that
characteristic; taking steps to meet the special needs of those with a
protected characteristic; encouraging participation in public life (or other
areas where they are underrepresented) of people with a protected
C. Foster good relations between people who share a protected
characteristic and those who do not including tackling prejudice and
promoting understanding.
10.1.2 The protected characteristics are age, disability, gender reassignment,
pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual
10.1.3 The PSED must be considered as a relevant factor in making this
decision but does not impose a duty to achieve the outcomes in s.149
is only one factor that needs to be considered, and may be balance
against other relevant factors.
10.1.4 It is not considered that the recommendation to grant permission in this
case will have a disproportionately adverse impact on a protected
10.2 Human Rights
10.2.1 In making your decision, you should be aware of and take into account
any implications that may arise from the Human Rights Act 1998.
Page 47(Item 5.1)
Under the Act, it is unlawful for a public authority such as the London
Borough of Waltham Forest to act in a manner that is incompatible with
the European Convention on Human Rights.

You are referred specifically to Article 8 (right to respect for private and
family life), Article 1 of the First Protocol (protection of property). It is
not considered that the recommendation to grant permission in this
case interferes with local residents' right to respect for their private and
family life, home and correspondence, except insofar as it is necessary
to protect the rights and freedoms of others (in this case, the rights of
the applicant). The Council is also permitted to control the use of
property in accordance with the general interest and the
recommendation to grant permission is considered to be a
proportionate response to the submitted application based on the
considerations set out in this report.

The Planning Committee is requested to resolve that planning
permission be granted subject to the following conditions:

11.1 Conditions and Reasons:
1. The development to which this permission relates must be begun
not later than the expiration of three years beginning from the date
of this decision notice.

2. The development shall be carried out in accordance with the plan
labelled 'Leyton Marsh New Hoggin Path and Mooring Posts',
received on 4 April 2014


1 To comply with the provisions of Section 91(1)(a) of the Town and
Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended).

2 To ensure the development is completed in accordance with the
approved details.

11.2 Informatives:
1. To assist applicants the Local Planning Authority has produced
policies and provided written guidance, all of which is available on
the Council's website and which have been followed in this instance

12.1 The background information for this application is the relevant
application file, the application and any related history files,
together with relevant planning policy/policies at National,
London and Local level.
Page 48(Item 5.1)

12.2 These documents are available for inspection Monday to Fridays
between 9am and 5pm at Sycamore House, Town Hall, Forest
Road, E17 4JF