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The exhibition of plans for the Blackhorse area may be over but there’s still time to let the developers know your views. Visit their website to enter feedback and also join the debate here by adding a comment.

Many residents have expressed horror at the high rise plans which include a 23 storey block of flats that the developers themselves boast can be seen from Tottenham Hale“.

Most agree that the site needs redevelopment, but question how a 23 storey building can possibly be inkeeping with an area with no other buildings over 4/5 stories, not to mention on the doorstep of a Ramsar-listed nature reserve, canals, and the SSSI Walthamstow Marshes!

There are also major concerns that all traffic from the site comes out straight onto Edward/Hawarden Road (see plan here).

Resident Helen points out that the development offers nothing to the local community in the way of mixed use or community facilities and is a council led attempt to cram as many living spaces into a small area as possible:

418 units are proposed ie very high density – no community facilites or mixed use – one way sytem proposed all traffic for the site will enter via Blackhorse Rd and exit at corner of Hawarden and Edward Rd therefore this proposal will definitely impact on traffic/ noise / pollution on all of Edward Rd. I found them quite reasonable – it is clear that they are working to a specfic brief from Waltham Forest as to how many units must be fitted in to this site. More evidence of this council’s subterfuge and dirty dealings since for the best part of a year Waltham Forest refused to answer my specific questions raised at the Walthamstow West Community Council about the amount of units planned for this site on the grounds that they hadn’t had a planning application“.

Diana, another visitor to the exhibtion pointed out that the “trend country-wide is to move away from the concept of high-rise residential blocks“.

WILLOWFIELD SCHOOL

The developers have not been consulted on the councils renewed plans for the school on Douglas Ayre Playing Fields. They stated that their plans allowed no access to a school through the development. They also questioned the feasability of a school on a 3A Flood risk site (High Probability).

Resident Helen again writes:
They have not been informed that school is being considered again for Douglas Eyre. I spoke at length about this issue to more than one rep from the stakeholders and they were of the opinion the Council would not get the go ahead because the Environment Agency would block it. A huge school will obviously affect the prices they can get for their units as it will mean hordes of students walking through their estate. and of course more traffic. They are not at all in favour of the school proposal. This is the second attempt by Waltham Forest to sneak through this proposal without giving proper consideration to alternative sites which would cost more money“.

Please give your feedback and opinions to the developers on their website, which should contain more examples of the plans. Also join the debate here by adding your comments.

If you haven’t seen it already, the Walthamstow Guardian has a piece in it about the Council’s plans to build a new Willowfield School on the playing fields behind Edward Road. A couple of BAG members got themselves quoted, which is nice!

Read the article here.

Hi all,

Since the Council has put the rebuilding of Willowfield School on green belt land back on the agenda, we thought that a reminder of the actual flood risk would be a good idea.

Remember, the Council’s argument is based on the idea that the Douglas Eyre Playing Fields are not as much at risk of flood as had been previously thought; this view is based on historical records, despite warnings from various agencies that flood risk assessments should be revised upwards to take global warming into account.

Take a look at the Environment Agency’s flood map, here.

The proposal to build Willowfield School on the Douglas Eyre playing fields (which is green belt land) is back on the agenda!

The following has appeared on the council’s website, tucked away in the “schools/BSF bulletins” section: http://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/bsfmonthly_bullentin_sept-oct07.pdf

Willowfield School Governing Body and the Council met on 14th October to discuss the effects of recent further changes in the nature of restrictions round building on the Douglas Eyre Playing Field. These changes have opened up again the possibility of using the DEPF as new site for Willowfield School, with all the advantages that offers both to school, pupils and he local community…Further work will be carried out over the next few months to test out the feasibility of the approach, most particularly round the need to secure planning permission.

The council was well aware of local residents concern over these proposals the last time they were on the agenda – so when was it planning on telling us about this? If you look at the official communications on the ‘blackhorse regeneration’ pages of the website, the last mention of Willowfield school is in June where it is stated that “Waltham Forest Council has decided not to proceed with plans to move Willowfield School to the Douglas Eyre Playing Fields following advice about flood risks.” Further updates were published in October and December – but they say nothing about the change of plan for Willowfield.

Chris Robbins, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said in June (in regard to the search for a site for Willowfield school), “We will consult with the community on any new proposals.” But this seems to have slipped his mind. Perhaps he has been too busy meeting Bouygues, the huge French conglomerate who have won the privatised building schools contract for LBWF?

You would have hoped, though, that the officers running the overall regeneration scheme might have told residents what is going on, otherwise what is the point of their updates?

Blackhorse Action Group has written to the regeneration officers asking what is the nature of the ‘changes in the nature of the restrictions’ and whether this plan is really back on the agenda. We are extremely surprised that the council would try and get round what seemed to be clear restrictions on flood plain building – particularly given that only last week, a report into this summer’s flooding said that such restrictions must be strengthened even further.

Does anyone have any further information? We would particularly like to hear from anyone with children at Willowfield school, to see if we can work together on this. We understand that the school was told that the council had failed to find any other site, so would have to re-build Willowfield on its existing site. We understand that after that, it told the school that doing so would be more difficult than originally anticipated.

We are also curious as to whether the proposed waste disposal facilities in Blackhorse Lane, which the council is being less than clear about, might have something to do with the changes of plan.

If you would like to help, feel free to email the Blackhorse regeneration officers at blackhorselane@walthamforest.gov.uk

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