LEYTON: Sports field to become Olympic car park

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Drapers Field in Leyton. Drapers Field in Leyton.

THE council has agreed "in principle" to close a popular sports field for 16 months so that it can be used as a car park during the 2012 Olympics.

Drapers Field in Leyton, which is used by an estimated 9,000 people a month, will be shut off to the public in September 2011 and will not re-open until December 2012.

Waltham Forest Council said the decision is subject to a consultation and a compensation package by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), which it hopes will fund the building of new facilities to make up for the long-term loss of the green space.

But critics have slammed the move as a "disgrace". According to council documents the ODA wants to use the site as a high-security "Olympic Village holding area".

The land will be fenced off, with temporary buildings constructed and the installation of 'hard' landscaping on the floor.

Speaking at a council meeting last week, council leader Chris Robbins said: “The ODA have agreed to negotiate some considerable sums of money to compensate us for the loss of this amenity.

“We would be able, through the compensation package, to completely refurbish Draper's Field...we could turn it into a very special park.”

He added: “There would also have to be a stringent agreement about how they [the ODA] hand it back. I don't want them to hand it back in a complete mess that we then have to pay to sort out.”

But Liberal Democrat leader and Leyton councillor Cllr Bob Sullivan said he was sceptical whether the council would receive satisfactory compensation for the loss.

He said: “It's the only sports field in the area and a closure for this amount of time will have a damning effect.

“It's a disgrace. We're supposed to be an Olympic borough but we're closing down one of the few well-used areas for sport.

“For example, Norlington School for Boys uses the field four days a week and they are going to find it difficult to find somewhere else to go that is affordable.”

Cllr Robbins will have delegated power to “consider” objections to the plans and to agree to a final compensation settlement, which is expected to be announced in August.

Do you use Drapers Field for sports? What do you think of the proposed closure? Contact reporter Daniel Binns on 0779 547 6625 or via email at dbinns@london.newsquest.co.uk

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Comments (11)

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1:27pm Tue 27 Jul 10

Robert19 says...

I'm not sure I get this. I thought the Olympic and Paralympic Games were for three weeks. Why do VIPs need to park their cars there for 16 months? Why do they need to make it a hardstanding area with associated buildings if they only need it for three weeks? Makes no sense. Or is there a separate use under the euphemism of secure holding area. How much compensation?
I'm not sure I get this. I thought the Olympic and Paralympic Games were for three weeks. Why do VIPs need to park their cars there for 16 months? Why do they need to make it a hardstanding area with associated buildings if they only need it for three weeks? Makes no sense. Or is there a separate use under the euphemism of secure holding area. How much compensation? Robert19
  • Score: 0

1:36pm Tue 27 Jul 10

lscesq says...

This is stupid, over 9,000 people use this site nearly every month so how can you close it down. What about the people that use the site will they be relocated to another site with the same amenity. Also I dont think the site will be restored once the ODA hand it back over. The Waltham Forest Council is a load of bull****, and the people at the top are only looking for ways to line their own pockets, at the cost of people that try to keep them in power. What a fraudulent council this is.
This is stupid, over 9,000 people use this site nearly every month so how can you close it down. What about the people that use the site will they be relocated to another site with the same amenity. Also I dont think the site will be restored once the ODA hand it back over. The Waltham Forest Council is a load of bull****, and the people at the top are only looking for ways to line their own pockets, at the cost of people that try to keep them in power. What a fraudulent council this is. lscesq
  • Score: 0

1:44pm Tue 27 Jul 10

rubberneck says...

Anyone with half a brain would have arranged for the Rolls Royces owned by the likes of Cheryl Cole and Jack Tweed and Baroness gaga to be parked far away like the Car Park at Pets at Home on the A13 then bus them in in mini-buses and Wallace Arnold coaches?
Anyone with half a brain would have arranged for the Rolls Royces owned by the likes of Cheryl Cole and Jack Tweed and Baroness gaga to be parked far away like the Car Park at Pets at Home on the A13 then bus them in in mini-buses and Wallace Arnold coaches? rubberneck
  • Score: 0

3:38pm Tue 27 Jul 10

mortgageman says...

Why do they need the land for so long?

Seems like this is more to this that is being let on

The government is trying to prevent obesity and then closed the main playing field in the area. Crazy and stupid!!!! Who is going to make some money out of this?

Its also the same with Hackney marshes - doubt if that will be turned back into a large green field after the olympics.
Why do they need the land for so long? Seems like this is more to this that is being let on The government is trying to prevent obesity and then closed the main playing field in the area. Crazy and stupid!!!! Who is going to make some money out of this? Its also the same with Hackney marshes - doubt if that will be turned back into a large green field after the olympics. mortgageman
  • Score: 0

3:40pm Tue 27 Jul 10

myopinioncounts says...

Place your bets now !
I reckon William Hill will offer odds of 1,000 to 1 that this field will be handed back!
Place your bets now ! I reckon William Hill will offer odds of 1,000 to 1 that this field will be handed back! myopinioncounts
  • Score: 0

4:42pm Tue 27 Jul 10

SurvivorMentality says...

myopinioncounts wrote:
Place your bets now !
I reckon William Hill will offer odds of 1,000 to 1 that this field will be handed back!
I'd take that action - easy money !

I have to agree with all of the comments above. Sixteen months seems excessive and the other changes sound pretty permanent to me. If this is supposed to be the "green games" then surely park and ride schemes should be introduced wherever possible.

If our barely / non-elected (delete to your preference) leaders can get on buses and the Tube then why can't the Olympic bigwigs ? High time they realised that they are only running a large sports event - the people who live in the area are having their lives afected for decades to come.
[quote][p][bold]myopinioncounts[/bold] wrote: Place your bets now ! I reckon William Hill will offer odds of 1,000 to 1 that this field will be handed back![/p][/quote]I'd take that action - easy money ! I have to agree with all of the comments above. Sixteen months seems excessive and the other changes sound pretty permanent to me. If this is supposed to be the "green games" then surely park and ride schemes should be introduced wherever possible. If our barely / non-elected (delete to your preference) leaders can get on buses and the Tube then why can't the Olympic bigwigs ? High time they realised that they are only running a large sports event - the people who live in the area are having their lives afected for decades to come. SurvivorMentality
  • Score: 0

6:09pm Tue 27 Jul 10

Quintilis says...

And once the bigwigs have parked here, how is it proposed they get to the Olympic Park - walk, cycle, bus? It's more likely that fleets of rock star-style air-conditioned luxury tour buses will sweep them away at all hours of day and night causing disturbance, congestion and pollution for residents and no benefit to the local economy. So much for the Green Games!
And once the bigwigs have parked here, how is it proposed they get to the Olympic Park - walk, cycle, bus? It's more likely that fleets of rock star-style air-conditioned luxury tour buses will sweep them away at all hours of day and night causing disturbance, congestion and pollution for residents and no benefit to the local economy. So much for the Green Games! Quintilis
  • Score: 0

7:33pm Tue 27 Jul 10

md-j says...

'which it hopes will fund the building of new facilities to make up for the long-term loss of the green space..'

There are plans in the public domain to build flats on at least part of this site, and on the allotments at the Ruckholt Rd end of the Leyton Relief Rd; do not be deceived for one minute!
At the last Leyton and WX Community Council elected Councillors, including the recent Mayor, were being told that they could not be given information about this because negotiations were 'sensitive'.
ie, the 'Council' is something other than the people you and I vote for.
If local people care about this land, we must occupy it, as was done to save the Lammas Lands over a century ago. The publicity would go around the world, like the Chinese man whose house was surrounded by diggings.
Leyton is being repaved so that the peasants can walk from the overcrowded Tube (and if they're late they lose the seat they paid for, it now seems), but VIPs who flew here in the first place must be driven a shorter distance. It shows the contempt these people have for us.
'which it hopes will fund the building of new facilities to make up for the long-term loss of the green space..' There are plans in the public domain to build flats on at least part of this site, and on the allotments at the Ruckholt Rd end of the Leyton Relief Rd; do not be deceived for one minute! At the last Leyton and WX Community Council elected Councillors, including the recent Mayor, were being told that they could not be given information about this because negotiations were 'sensitive'. ie, the 'Council' is something other than the people you and I vote for. If local people care about this land, we must occupy it, as was done to save the Lammas Lands over a century ago. The publicity would go around the world, like the Chinese man whose house was surrounded by diggings. Leyton is being repaved so that the peasants can walk from the overcrowded Tube (and if they're late they lose the seat they paid for, it now seems), but VIPs who flew here in the first place must be driven a shorter distance. It shows the contempt these people have for us. md-j
  • Score: 0

9:00pm Tue 27 Jul 10

Gegi says...

Just remember the A406 and M11 link road. Where are the promised ameliorating measures? Leyton is still traffic hell and the North Circular has taken massive (way more than proposed) amounts of land for nobody to use. I fear Waltham Forest has been bought cheaply again and promises will quickly be forgotten. Greenest games ever; my ...
Just remember the A406 and M11 link road. Where are the promised ameliorating measures? Leyton is still traffic hell and the North Circular has taken massive (way more than proposed) amounts of land for nobody to use. I fear Waltham Forest has been bought cheaply again and promises will quickly be forgotten. Greenest games ever; my ... Gegi
  • Score: 0

11:28pm Tue 27 Jul 10

sensibility says...

DISGUSTING what a tragedy
DISGUSTING what a tragedy sensibility
  • Score: 0

11:46pm Thu 29 Jul 10

blackandtan says...

Alex Savine of the ODA planning decisions team has told me(12/07/10 at 15.56 ) that under normal circumstances when the ODA no longer need to use a piece of land they would, in accordance with the contract, return it as it originally was or in an improved state.

However, Waltham Forest Council has yet to decide how they want Drapers Field returned. They are to carry out a consultation and then decide what to do. Having said that, the local councillors seem determined to persuade residents to have a “lovely park”. They have not mentioned the plans for their “lovely park” are enclosed on 2 sides by tower blocks, (they appear to be 8-10 storeys high).

If they succeed in convincing people locally to vote for a “lovely park” the recreation ground we presently have with the protection of ppg17 planning guidance will be lost. As a park they will find it much easier to get around the law and build flats.

Waltham Forest Council is free to ask at the time of drawing up the contract for the field to be returned in whatever state they wish. The decision is up to the council.

Alex Savine also told me that Ralph Luck, director of property for the ODA ,was the man to speak to concerning negotiations on this matter with the council. Ralph Luck has been unavailable for comment for several days. Perhaps the Guardian may have better luck in contacting Mr Luck to establish the facts than I have had.

I suspect the council want to turn the recreation ground into a park to engineer a change of use blaming the Olympics for losing this facility. I also suspect part of the deal will include selling part of Drapers Field for building flats. The Northern Olympic Fringe Master Plan states “Drapers Field area could be packaged up as a single opportunity with a disposal to the market subject to a planning framework in place”. The link below shows how the flats on Drapers Field could be envisaged. This is part of a document produced by The London School of Economics. It is the Northern Olympic Fringe Urban Co-production.
http://i908.photobuc
ket.com/albums/ac290
/drapersfield/draper
spark1.jpg
The Northern Olympic Fringe Master Plan first showed the flats in their proposals as can be seen in the link below. The full version of this document has since been removed from the council web site.

http://i908.photobuc
ket.com/albums/ac290
/drapersfield/draper
spark2.jpg
Alex Savine of the ODA planning decisions team has told me(12/07/10 at 15.56 ) that under normal circumstances when the ODA no longer need to use a piece of land they would, in accordance with the contract, return it as it originally was or in an improved state. However, Waltham Forest Council has yet to decide how they want Drapers Field returned. They are to carry out a consultation and then decide what to do. Having said that, the local councillors seem determined to persuade residents to have a “lovely park”. They have not mentioned the plans for their “lovely park” are enclosed on 2 sides by tower blocks, (they appear to be 8-10 storeys high). If they succeed in convincing people locally to vote for a “lovely park” the recreation ground we presently have with the protection of ppg17 planning guidance will be lost. As a park they will find it much easier to get around the law and build flats. Waltham Forest Council is free to ask at the time of drawing up the contract for the field to be returned in whatever state they wish. The decision is up to the council. Alex Savine also told me that Ralph Luck, director of property for the ODA ,was the man to speak to concerning negotiations on this matter with the council. Ralph Luck has been unavailable for comment for several days. Perhaps the Guardian may have better luck in contacting Mr Luck to establish the facts than I have had. I suspect the council want to turn the recreation ground into a park to engineer a change of use blaming the Olympics for losing this facility. I also suspect part of the deal will include selling part of Drapers Field for building flats. The Northern Olympic Fringe Master Plan states “Drapers Field area could be packaged up as a single opportunity with a disposal to the market subject to a planning framework in place”. The link below shows how the flats on Drapers Field could be envisaged. This is part of a document produced by The London School of Economics. It is the Northern Olympic Fringe Urban Co-production. http://i908.photobuc ket.com/albums/ac290 /drapersfield/draper spark1.jpg The Northern Olympic Fringe Master Plan first showed the flats in their proposals as can be seen in the link below. The full version of this document has since been removed from the council web site. http://i908.photobuc ket.com/albums/ac290 /drapersfield/draper spark2.jpg blackandtan
  • Score: 0

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