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

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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.

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