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Please update your bookmarks and links, The Blackhorse Action Group (Residents Association for the Blackhorse Road area, E17) has moved:

Visit www.blackhorseactiongroup.org.uk for all the latest news on the area and its future development.

Come say hello, have a read, comment, debate or why not join the group?

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Interesting article in the Waltham Forest Guardian this week claiming that the proposed development of a 18 storey tower block on the former Arcade site has hit prices for houses in its shadow.

“When a resident next to the site went to a surveyor she discovered the preferred design that St Modwen has suggested for the site would overshadow her garden, meaning her home will be worth £10,000 less than if situated elsewhere.”

Caramel Quin of Fighttheheight.co.uk had been told that earlier plans for a seven storey development would have boosted prices: “property experts told us the area would be improved and prices would go up“.

Developers will of course make plenty of money from the new tower blocks planned at the Arcade, and the 23 storey Blackhorse Road development.

When residents who currently look out on playing fields and reservoirs find that view replaced by 23 storeys of flats, will they also find the price they can get for their home has fallen too?

Send the developers PR team your views on the proposed Blackhorse Land development here.

As previously reported Prince Charles’ Foundation for the built environment has stated (here) that high rise’s are both unnecessary and inappropriate for Walthamstow.

“Waltham Forest called in the foundation to masterplan the Town Centre of Walthamstow. (Foundation executive) Dittmar says the foundation was interested to explore how Walthamstow, in an outer London borough, could meet mayor Ken Livingstone’s target for affordable housing and how greater residential density was compatible with Walthamstow’s Victorian terraced houses.

Dittmar asks: ‘How can you increase density without sticking people into tower blocks? If you ask Londoners about tower blocks, you find that they are only liked by investors in property.’

The foundation looked at other boroughs and concluded that the four-storey houses of St John’s Wood or Swiss Cottage and the mansion blocks of Kensington and Chelsea provided density without towers”.

national year of reading 2008 is the National Year of Reading and Waltham Forest Council are marking it by continuing to deprive the local community of a much loved and valued Library.

It’s now 1 year since the council pretended to renovate St. James St. Library, then promptly closed the doors without proper local consultation or warning.

To mark the event and continue the campaign to get it reopened, The St James Library campaign are holding a special Open air Library this Saturday from 2pm – 4pm outside the former Library itself (top of Coppermill Lane/bottom of Walthamstow market).

There will be books galore to swap, children’s activities, Carole Vincent from Big Brother will be face painting and live music too (hopefully not from Carole).

Please show your support by going along, bring a book or two or alternatively just bring yourself.

On Thursday BBC London visited the William Morris Gallery to film the 11,000 signature petition protesting at council cuts to both opening hours and its world renowned staff.

The news item featured Councillor Reardon trying to claim all is well, and the opening hours are fine but being forced to admit it will of course be closed for Easter.

The Keep Our Museums Open” website has more information on the cut backs (story so far here), and the fight to reverse them.

Why not celebrate William Morris’s birthday on bank holiday Monday 24 March, from 12pmby joining local residents at the Changing Room Gallery in Lloyds Park, where I’m reliably informed teas, cakes and drinks will be available, as well as entertainment.

OPEN AIR LIBRARY

Protest has never been so much fun.  After 40 years the council closed St. James Street Library without consultation and under the outright lie of claimed refurbishment, stripping the area of a valuable resource.

Residents formed The St James Street Library Campaign and are holding their own open air library outside its former home at the top of Coppermill Lane (bottom of the market).

Come along every Saturday in March from 1pm till 3pm (possibly4?) to swap books, have a natter, help the campaign, and fill out their questionnaire (download here).

Word has it that since the council torched a quarter of a million of the borough’s books the open air library actually has a better selection than the main library!

Picture taken from The Londonist’s excellent coverage of a previous open air library.

Want to know what the developers have in mind for Blackhorse Road?

The “revised” plans for the redevelopment are going on public display for three days only.

If you have objections, opinions, or even just fancy a nose, this is your chance. Decisions on every aspect of Blackhorse Road’s future are being taken, from the number of storeys flats might have right through to access to reservoirs and green spaces.

Thursday 28 February from 6pm to 8.30pm
Friday 29 February from 6pm to 8.30pm
Saturday 1 March from 10am to 2 pm

Venue:
Stoneydown Park Primary School
Pretoria Avenue, Walthamstow E17 6JY – MAP here

Should you miss the public display, you can also submit your views to the Blackhorse Road developers website.

On their website the KLA invite all residents to come along and give feedback on the plans. The only slight snag being – as of today – the website doesn’t actually give any address for the exhibition! Also has anyone received any information through the post that might actually inform residents its on?

All of which brings to mind Douglas Adams on public planning displays:

“But the plans were on display …”
“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”
“That’s the display department.”
“With a flashlight.”
“Ah, well the lights had probably gone.”
“So had the stairs.”

(UPDATE: One day before the exhibition and an address has now appeared).

BAG invites you to a residents get together on Sat 17 May at the Sports Pavilion of Douglas Eyre Playing Fields. Come along one and all, kids too. Colin, our favourite groundsman at the pavilion, has agreed to open the bar.

If you are interested in getting involved with organising this evening then email Irina Hoss.

A reminder that the BAG AGM will be at the pavilion of the Douglas Eyre Playing Fields next Monday, 11th February,  at 7.30pm.

Business will include reports on activities, the establishment of working groups and the election of committee members.

Looking forward to seeing as many residents as possible there!

2008 AGM Agenda

The meeting will be at Chapel End Junior School, and you can download the agenda here: http://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/280108-agenda.pdf It would be great to see as many residents as possible there!

A member points out that the Community Council meeting on the 28 Jan coincides (coincidence?) with a NLWP consultation.

Dear all

In case you haven’t seen the latest copy of WFM, there will be a public workshop at EduAction Conference Centre, Queens Road, E17 between 6.30pm and 8.30pm on Monday 28th January about the North London Waste Plan. The purpose of the workshop is to “have your say and find out more” about the North London Waste Plan. Some of you may have seen that Waltham Forest is earmarked for 3 out of 6 waste disposal sites so it should be interesting to go along and find out more about what’s happening with that.

For more info go to www.nlwp.net or to register for a workshop email events@nlwp.net

I’m sure it is no coincidence (!), but the Walthamstow West Community Council meeting is also being held on the same evening – Monday 28th January at 7.15pm at the Chapel End Junior School, Roberts Road, E17 4LS.

thanks,
Cath

We should probably split up and attend both. Email to say which of the two meetings, the Community Council or the NLWP consultation, you’d be able to attend.

It would be great if as many people as possible went along to the next Community Council meeting. It’s a great opportunity to raise our concerns about the Willowfield School proposals, and the development at BHL2.

All meetings start at 7.30pm. Refreshments served from 7.15pm.

You can see agendas and minutes here. When the council gets round to posting them. Otherwise, contact:

Alessandra Awolowo
Committee Management Team
Waltham Forest Town Hall
Forest Road
Walthamstow
LONDON E17 4JF
0208 496 4862
Alessandra.Awolowo@walthamforest.gov.uk

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