Marsh Lane allotments had been moved temporarily from land now in the Olympic Park

Allotments in Marsh Lane.

Allotments in Marsh Lane.

First published in News
Last updated
East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A controversial allotment site in Leyton which was supposed to be temporary will become a permanent feature in the marshes.

Councillors voted unanimously to retain the Marsh Lane site at a planning committee meeting last night.

In passing the vote committee members drew attention to long waiting lists for plots in the borough and the health and food benefits for plot holders.

But campaigners say the 64-plot site, which was built as a temporary facility, is now falling into disrepair and retaining it will result in a loss of valuable open space.

Permission was granted in 2007 to temporarily move the allotments from Waterden Road, Stratford, after they were bulldozed to make way for a concrete walkway on the Olympic site.

In 2006 Waltham Forest's planning committee turned down a submission from the London Development Agency to move the allotments to Marsh Lane.

A revised plan was later approved.

“The question for me comes back to whether we want allotments that are very sought after in the borough or do we agree to bulldoze the site back to what it was before – an underused playground area,” Higham Hill ward councillor Karen Bellamy said.

“I think we need the allotments.”

Councillor Jenny Gray said: “I think the allotments improve the appearance of the park and that they compliment the green space.”

Campaigners and the New Lammas Lands Defence Committee, a group working to defend the open space of Leyton Marshes, claim Waltham Forest already has the highest allotment provision of any borough.

They say that in 2006 the council stated that there was no need to move the allotments to their current site and that it makes no sense to retain them now.

Campaigner Katy Andrews said: “These were supposed to be a temporary relocation and by retaining it we are permanently losing this area.”

Plot holder representative Mark Carlton said sheds at the site are falling apart because they were meant to be temporary.

“A whole lot of issues would need to be addressed to plan for what we thought would be in the Olympic Park,” he said.

“We would consider that to be a big loss.”

Temporary permission for the site was due to expire in December this year.

Comments (5)

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12:39pm Wed 8 Jan 14

mdj says...

The article might helpfully tell us what was done with the vacated land at Waterden road, and why it has not been made available for the return of the plot-holders.

The arguments for staying put may be good, but yet again we are forced to ask why any promise by a politician should be believed.
Could we be reminded what our councillors told us at the time?
The article might helpfully tell us what was done with the vacated land at Waterden road, and why it has not been made available for the return of the plot-holders. The arguments for staying put may be good, but yet again we are forced to ask why any promise by a politician should be believed. Could we be reminded what our councillors told us at the time? mdj
  • Score: 7

4:16pm Wed 8 Jan 14

RichieA70 says...

I sincerely hope Cllr Jenny Gray does the decent thing and doesn't run for re-election this year. The same goes for Peter Barnett. These two are incapable of making coherent, sensible planning decisions or understanding what's right for the borough.
I sincerely hope Cllr Jenny Gray does the decent thing and doesn't run for re-election this year. The same goes for Peter Barnett. These two are incapable of making coherent, sensible planning decisions or understanding what's right for the borough. RichieA70
  • Score: 5

9:28pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Helen, Walthamstow says...

Varney The Onion wrote:
It is hardly a surprise that Peter Barnet and Jenny Gray acted in such a way as they are mere sock puppets for the nefarious regime of Chris "robbing" Robbins and his hench man Clyde Loafs. Whatever the Strong Leader wants the Strong Leader tends to get after all.
Cornbeefur?
[quote][p][bold]Varney The Onion[/bold] wrote: It is hardly a surprise that Peter Barnet and Jenny Gray acted in such a way as they are mere sock puppets for the nefarious regime of Chris "robbing" Robbins and his hench man Clyde Loafs. Whatever the Strong Leader wants the Strong Leader tends to get after all.[/p][/quote]Cornbeefur? Helen, Walthamstow
  • Score: 8

1:54pm Thu 9 Jan 14

RichieA70 says...

Helen, Walthamstow wrote:
Varney The Onion wrote:
It is hardly a surprise that Peter Barnet and Jenny Gray acted in such a way as they are mere sock puppets for the nefarious regime of Chris "robbing" Robbins and his hench man Clyde Loafs. Whatever the Strong Leader wants the Strong Leader tends to get after all.
Cornbeefur?
Good spot Helen!
[quote][p][bold]Helen, Walthamstow[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Varney The Onion[/bold] wrote: It is hardly a surprise that Peter Barnet and Jenny Gray acted in such a way as they are mere sock puppets for the nefarious regime of Chris "robbing" Robbins and his hench man Clyde Loafs. Whatever the Strong Leader wants the Strong Leader tends to get after all.[/p][/quote]Cornbeefur?[/p][/quote]Good spot Helen! RichieA70
  • Score: 1

4:31pm Thu 9 Jan 14

mdj says...

If readers search for 'Marsh Lane Olympic allotments' on this paper's site, a complete string of previous stories comes up.

One, from January 2006, says: 'The fields around Marsh Lane are known as Lammas land, green space held in trust for the public by the council, and a condition attached to the stewardship of this land is that it cannot be fenced in and people must be free to roam there.'

Has the council once again voted to break the law it's obliged to obey? A few years ago they were rumbled by local people for trying to build a school on land they did not own, but held in trust for sporting activities. We were then blandly assured that no money had been wasted in the months of preparatory work, because the same officials would only have been employed doing something else!

The council's record of respect for the law is shabby; it also has a record of inventing legal powers it does not possess in order to advance its own agendas.
Readers need to reassure themselves that something may not be true or lawful merely because some official-looking piece of paper claims that it is.
If readers search for 'Marsh Lane Olympic allotments' on this paper's site, a complete string of previous stories comes up. One, from January 2006, says: 'The fields around Marsh Lane are known as Lammas land, green space held in trust for the public by the council, and a condition attached to the stewardship of this land is that it cannot be fenced in and people must be free to roam there.' Has the council once again voted to break the law it's obliged to obey? A few years ago they were rumbled by local people for trying to build a school on land they did not own, but held in trust for sporting activities. We were then blandly assured that no money had been wasted in the months of preparatory work, because the same officials would only have been employed doing something else! The council's record of respect for the law is shabby; it also has a record of inventing legal powers it does not possess in order to advance its own agendas. Readers need to reassure themselves that something may not be true or lawful merely because some official-looking piece of paper claims that it is. mdj
  • Score: 1

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