WALTHAMSTOW: Giant tower block plans approved

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Residents protest against the plans before the meeting Residents protest against the plans before the meeting

A GIANT 14-storey tower block which campaigners say will scar Walthamstow for generations to come was given planning permission at a heated meeting tonight.

Councillors narrowly passed the proposals, which also include two eight storey housing blocks, by four votes to three.

Objectors argue that the development, on the Priory Avenue side of Walthamstow Central Station, is ugly, badly designed, intrusive and will also encourage social problems and crime.

But Solum Regeneration argued at the planning committee meeting that the blocks will revitalise the area and provide much-needed housing.

Dozens of residents turned out in force to tonight's hearing at Waltham Forest Town Hall, which was marked by frequent outbursts and heckling from a packed public gallery.

Cabinet member for housing Cllr Marie Pye - who was not on the committee but attended as a guest speaker - sparked outrage when she said that residents in Waltham Forest who did not like high rise buildings should "move out and go and live in Surrey".

She said that tower blocks were justified because of the borough's shortage of housing.

And campaigners were also furious at the "betrayal" of local ward councillor Ebony Vincent, who organised a public meeting with residents to discuss the plans last month but who voted with her Labour colleagues in favour of the plans.

But Cllr Vincent said residents she spoke to were split "50/50" over the development and that she was motivated by concerns over the borough's housing shortage.

The meeting heard that the Greater London Authority (GLA) could hold its own hearing into the plans now that the council has reached a verdict on the development due to the significance of its size.

The 14-storey hotel block will be built just 22 metres from the bedroom of Sally Stephens, who is chair of Priory Avenue Residents Association.

She said: "The councillors who voted for it should be ashamed. They voted along party lines and the level of debate was pathetic.

"Our next move is to lobby the GLA and mount a judicial review. The proper procedures were not followed."

Council planning officer Ian Ansell also provoked gasps of astonishment in the public gallery when he said that the biggest advantage of the development was that it resolved the long-running saga of the construction of a pedestrian walkway between Walthamstow Central Station and Queens Road Station.

He said: "The officers' view is that the main positive is the completion of the pedestrian link".

But Peter Hughes, senior development manager at Solum Regeneration, said the biggest boost would be to the local economy.

He said: "It will create a new sense of place that will bring investment into the town centre.

"The hotel alone will bring an extra £1 million in spending every year to local shops and restaurants."

Cllr Jenny Gray said she believed the development would bring lasting benefits to Walthamstow.

She told the meeting: "I believe that the pros do outweigh the cons. I know it's a big change [for Walthamstow] but there's no other tower blocks and something's got to be first".

But opposition councillor Alan Siggers said: "We've spent the last 10 years knocking down tower blocks in Waltham Forest and now we seem to be rebuilding them.

"What concerns me is that with a development like this we are creating tomorrow's poor housing."

Labour councillors also argued that the tower blocks would comprise more than 50 per cent affordable housing.

But objectors say the claim is misleading because that includes accommodation for 'key workers' such as teachers who would not be on any housing waiting lists.

Council officer Mr Ansell also mentioned during the meeting that other developers would be watching its outcome "very closely", raising fears among campaigners that plans for more high rise projects in the borough could now follow.

Comments (67)

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11:09pm Thu 20 Jan 11

Sam Hain says...

One thing (probably the only printable thing) one can say for Cllr Pye - she's consistent. Consistently arrogant, high-handed and out-of-touch. Nemesis follows hubris as night follows day - it's only a matter of time. The sad thing is contemplating the amount of damage she will have inflicted on this borough before that time comes.
One thing (probably the only printable thing) one can say for Cllr Pye - she's consistent. Consistently arrogant, high-handed and out-of-touch. Nemesis follows hubris as night follows day - it's only a matter of time. The sad thing is contemplating the amount of damage she will have inflicted on this borough before that time comes. Sam Hain
  • Score: 0

12:00am Fri 21 Jan 11

AC1975 says...

ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC NEWS FOR WALTHAMSTOW!!!

Well done the committee for having the balls to support what the silent majority really want and not the 17 or so pillow fighters who attempted to jeapordise this valuable development. I have lived in Walthamstow Central most of my life and have desperately wanted E17 to have a vibrant night time economy. Developments like this will bring inward investment and should in theory mean that the decision makes it easier for a tower development in the arcade are, hopefully with a multiplex cinema, and also makes it more likely to bring in bigger players. A lot of my friends (and residents) on nearby roads priory avenue, cedars avenue, first avenue and shrubland road supported
this development. some us emailed solum regeneration to register our support. hopefully this played a part in swaying the committee. We will organise a bigger show of support once the arcade decision comes up. WELL DONE!!
ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC NEWS FOR WALTHAMSTOW!!! Well done the committee for having the balls to support what the silent majority really want and not the 17 or so pillow fighters who attempted to jeapordise this valuable development. I have lived in Walthamstow Central most of my life and have desperately wanted E17 to have a vibrant night time economy. Developments like this will bring inward investment and should in theory mean that the decision makes it easier for a tower development in the arcade are, hopefully with a multiplex cinema, and also makes it more likely to bring in bigger players. A lot of my friends (and residents) on nearby roads priory avenue, cedars avenue, first avenue and shrubland road supported this development. some us emailed solum regeneration to register our support. hopefully this played a part in swaying the committee. We will organise a bigger show of support once the arcade decision comes up. WELL DONE!! AC1975
  • Score: 0

12:05am Fri 21 Jan 11

Dreadster says...

The only people in WF who could afford to move to Surrey would be Cllr Pye, her Cllr colleagues and the executives who work alongside them on extortionate 6 figure salaries. They want to shoe horn in high density developments so that they can continue to award themselves the sort of pay rises to which they have become accustomed. This redevelopment is a complete u-turn in high rise policy. I can sense the future equivalent of beaumont or cathall gangs rubbing their hands at the proposed delivery of their shiny new ghetto. I used to have no confidence in our current administration now my feelings towards them is in negative equity!
The only people in WF who could afford to move to Surrey would be Cllr Pye, her Cllr colleagues and the executives who work alongside them on extortionate 6 figure salaries. They want to shoe horn in high density developments so that they can continue to award themselves the sort of pay rises to which they have become accustomed. This redevelopment is a complete u-turn in high rise policy. I can sense the future equivalent of beaumont or cathall gangs rubbing their hands at the proposed delivery of their shiny new ghetto. I used to have no confidence in our current administration now my feelings towards them is in negative equity! Dreadster
  • Score: 0

12:08am Fri 21 Jan 11

AC1975 says...

Sally Stevens, who is chair of Priory Avenue Residents Association,,,said: "The councillors who voted for it should be ashamed. They voted along party lines and the level of debate was pathetic.
"Our next move is to lobby the GLA and mount a judicial review. The proper procedures were not followed."


Umm Sally you don't speak for me or for the silent majority. Guess what my next step is? Writing to the GLA to show my support.....
Sally Stevens, who is chair of Priory Avenue Residents Association,,,said: "The councillors who voted for it should be ashamed. They voted along party lines and the level of debate was pathetic. "Our next move is to lobby the GLA and mount a judicial review. The proper procedures were not followed." Umm Sally you don't speak for me or for the silent majority. Guess what my next step is? Writing to the GLA to show my support..... AC1975
  • Score: 0

3:04am Fri 21 Jan 11

Jc e17 says...

This approval was a big mistake.

Supporters of the proposals (including, I fear, the councillors) cannot have studied the drawings at all, or understood what they are accepting.

They seem to confuse the commonly felt need for regeneration with a willingness to accept anything that is thrown at the site by the developers. The approved scheme is completely over scaled for this site and of very, very poor design. I fear that in a few months time this will start to become very clear to us all.
This approval was a big mistake. Supporters of the proposals (including, I fear, the councillors) cannot have studied the drawings at all, or understood what they are accepting. They seem to confuse the commonly felt need for regeneration with a willingness to accept anything that is thrown at the site by the developers. The approved scheme is completely over scaled for this site and of very, very poor design. I fear that in a few months time this will start to become very clear to us all. Jc e17
  • Score: 0

5:39am Fri 21 Jan 11

Silent Majority 2009 says...

So that’s it, the Silent Majority have won. Cllr Gray made it very clear last night at the Planning Committee in to the Walthamstow Station Car Park that those who have spent years engaging in the political process, attending all sorts of consultations and making sure they understood the issues have to be ignored in favour of those making no effort to engage, sitting on their backsides waiting for the council to provide their every need.
Cllr Robbins, the strong leader, with the help of Cllr Pye and Loakes have now wrecked any chance of Walthamstow being regenerated effectively. Cllr Robbins has no interest in sustainable communities or pleasant living spaces as he was prepared to allow a school to be built in his own front yard on the Leyton Cricket Ground. Only the Charity Commissioners stopped him.
By using his majority on the committee he has now allowed a 14 storey people warehouse to be built on the station car park, affordable housing which they don’t know if the Government will fund, sited in the middle of a busy car park next to a railway line with no amenity space. All the arguments put up by local residents were ignored and even the Planning Officer claimed the main benefit of the scheme was a footpath from Queens Road Station to Walthamstow Station - £20m just to achieve a footpath!
Cllr Pye bangs on about over crowded homes but of the 6,000 people living in overcrowded conditions only 35 will have the opportunity to come and live in a car park! She does not understand the difference between units of accommodation and homes.
So now we can look forward to 20 plus storey block on the Arcade site, the EMD converted to a church, two 8 storey tower blocks by St James Street station, a massive Sainsbury’s with the no parking on the South Grove site, concrete school like the new Edinburgh monstrosity, another massive tower block where Sainsbury’s is now and guess what will be on the Buxton Hall site? One thing is for sure no attempt at building a night time economy or a sustainable community for the silent majority!
I for one am beaten and won’t be wasting my time engaging in any further consultation nonsense and being ignored. If I could I would move away but as this is one of the cheapest areas in London I can’t even afford to do that!
So that’s it, the Silent Majority have won. Cllr Gray made it very clear last night at the Planning Committee in to the Walthamstow Station Car Park that those who have spent years engaging in the political process, attending all sorts of consultations and making sure they understood the issues have to be ignored in favour of those making no effort to engage, sitting on their backsides waiting for the council to provide their every need. Cllr Robbins, the strong leader, with the help of Cllr Pye and Loakes have now wrecked any chance of Walthamstow being regenerated effectively. Cllr Robbins has no interest in sustainable communities or pleasant living spaces as he was prepared to allow a school to be built in his own front yard on the Leyton Cricket Ground. Only the Charity Commissioners stopped him. By using his majority on the committee he has now allowed a 14 storey people warehouse to be built on the station car park, affordable housing which they don’t know if the Government will fund, sited in the middle of a busy car park next to a railway line with no amenity space. All the arguments put up by local residents were ignored and even the Planning Officer claimed the main benefit of the scheme was a footpath from Queens Road Station to Walthamstow Station - £20m just to achieve a footpath! Cllr Pye bangs on about over crowded homes but of the 6,000 people living in overcrowded conditions only 35 will have the opportunity to come and live in a car park! She does not understand the difference between units of accommodation and homes. So now we can look forward to 20 plus storey block on the Arcade site, the EMD converted to a church, two 8 storey tower blocks by St James Street station, a massive Sainsbury’s with the no parking on the South Grove site, concrete school like the new Edinburgh monstrosity, another massive tower block where Sainsbury’s is now and guess what will be on the Buxton Hall site? One thing is for sure no attempt at building a night time economy or a sustainable community for the silent majority! I for one am beaten and won’t be wasting my time engaging in any further consultation nonsense and being ignored. If I could I would move away but as this is one of the cheapest areas in London I can’t even afford to do that! Silent Majority 2009
  • Score: 0

8:43am Fri 21 Jan 11

JasonOMalley says...

Cllr Pye's comments are utterly offensive. I was not at the meeting so cannot understand the context but she should not treat her constituent's with such disregard. I simply cannot believe that an elected member has spoken like this - Britain has a proud history of democracy and her comments suggest she has no desire to listen to the views of people who disagree with her. Ernest Bevan would be turning in his grave!!
My message back to her is perhaps you should move to North Korea where your dictatorial approach is more appreciated!!
Cllr Pye's comments are utterly offensive. I was not at the meeting so cannot understand the context but she should not treat her constituent's with such disregard. I simply cannot believe that an elected member has spoken like this - Britain has a proud history of democracy and her comments suggest she has no desire to listen to the views of people who disagree with her. Ernest Bevan would be turning in his grave!! My message back to her is perhaps you should move to North Korea where your dictatorial approach is more appreciated!! JasonOMalley
  • Score: 0

9:12am Fri 21 Jan 11

Helen, Walthamstow says...

Oh, how I hate the argument that the silent majority want something. If they have something to say, they should speak out. If they are silent, no-one knows what they think.

AC1975 is a fascinating new poster - fascinating in the sense that he or she only seems to comment on this issue. Whoever it is, AC1975 seems to have a death wish for any chance of a quality life for all in Walthamstow. This hideously-designed hotel, smack up again the pavement, will not bring any inward investment - business people with money do not stay in cheap hotels, tourists who do will spend their time and money in central London. The shops that are proposed will just be more of the same. The plans for homes are unexciting to say the least.

I despair of a planning committee that appears to vote along party lines instead of applying rigour to its examination of plans. And this argument about the need for more housing is pernicious. Like most folk, I won't people to have decent housing, but there is little point in simply growing the needier parts of the population by moving some into tower blocks leaving their overcrowded accommodation to be take up by other families. For a start, we don't even have enough school places for the children already born and living here.

I wonder where the kids in the new station car park homes will go to school.
Oh, how I hate the argument that the silent majority want something. If they have something to say, they should speak out. If they are silent, no-one knows what they think. AC1975 is a fascinating new poster - fascinating in the sense that he or she only seems to comment on this issue. Whoever it is, AC1975 seems to have a death wish for any chance of a quality life for all in Walthamstow. This hideously-designed hotel, smack up again the pavement, will not bring any inward investment - business people with money do not stay in cheap hotels, tourists who do will spend their time and money in central London. The shops that are proposed will just be more of the same. The plans for homes are unexciting to say the least. I despair of a planning committee that appears to vote along party lines instead of applying rigour to its examination of plans. And this argument about the need for more housing is pernicious. Like most folk, I won't people to have decent housing, but there is little point in simply growing the needier parts of the population by moving some into tower blocks leaving their overcrowded accommodation to be take up by other families. For a start, we don't even have enough school places for the children already born and living here. I wonder where the kids in the new station car park homes will go to school. Helen, Walthamstow
  • Score: 0

9:23am Fri 21 Jan 11

Heartlysmum says...

Mary Pye was on tele the other day and it is the first time I have heard/seen her. Straight out of Dr. Zivago ideaology of a commisar let alone the look.
Tower blocks do not work for housing, 60's blocks have been torn down around the country, they become no want areas, however build a posh tower block with luxury settings and concierge services with super rents that are affordable to the well orf and that is a different matter.
Mary has problems differentiating the 2.
Mary Pye was on tele the other day and it is the first time I have heard/seen her. Straight out of Dr. Zivago ideaology of a commisar let alone the look. Tower blocks do not work for housing, 60's blocks have been torn down around the country, they become no want areas, however build a posh tower block with luxury settings and concierge services with super rents that are affordable to the well orf and that is a different matter. Mary has problems differentiating the 2. Heartlysmum
  • Score: 0

9:38am Fri 21 Jan 11

myopinioncounts says...

Has Cllr Pye asked any of the people who moved out of the now demolished tower blocks if they would be willing to give up their houses to go back to high-rise living?
Most residents spent years trying to get out of them by pleading ill health and some even claiming they were a suicide risk.
Does the "Freedom of Information Act' give us the right to know how many of the people on the housing list have historical links with our borough?
Has Cllr Pye asked any of the people who moved out of the now demolished tower blocks if they would be willing to give up their houses to go back to high-rise living? Most residents spent years trying to get out of them by pleading ill health and some even claiming they were a suicide risk. Does the "Freedom of Information Act' give us the right to know how many of the people on the housing list have historical links with our borough? myopinioncounts
  • Score: 0

9:45am Fri 21 Jan 11

Tom Thumb says...

The arrogance of Cllr Marie Pye is breathtaking.
The claim that this development is needed to complete the pedestrian walkway between Walthamstow Central Station and Queens Road Station is most odd. The walkway formed part of the agreement to develop the site to the east of Queens Road station, many years ago. The developers then built housing and decided to ignore their agreement about the footway, which remained unbuilt. The council then failed to take immediate enforcement action and allowed this important route for rail passengers to remain unbuilt.
The hotel will be a hideous eyesore completely out of keeping with central Walthamstow's architecture. This development will result in yet more car use. The future is one of traffic gridlock on local streets which are already bursting at the seams with cars. Air pollution at the Hoe Street/Selborne Road junction is among the worst in the borough and it is now set to get even worse.
The arrogance of Cllr Marie Pye is breathtaking. The claim that this development is needed to complete the pedestrian walkway between Walthamstow Central Station and Queens Road Station is most odd. The walkway formed part of the agreement to develop the site to the east of Queens Road station, many years ago. The developers then built housing and decided to ignore their agreement about the footway, which remained unbuilt. The council then failed to take immediate enforcement action and allowed this important route for rail passengers to remain unbuilt. The hotel will be a hideous eyesore completely out of keeping with central Walthamstow's architecture. This development will result in yet more car use. The future is one of traffic gridlock on local streets which are already bursting at the seams with cars. Air pollution at the Hoe Street/Selborne Road junction is among the worst in the borough and it is now set to get even worse. Tom Thumb
  • Score: 0

10:40am Fri 21 Jan 11

AC1975 says...

Looks like the few who had nothing better to do than engage in a pillow fight on a saturday afternoon and turned up with some placards last night, have now decided to set up camp on the comments section of the WF Guardian. re my response to the various comments here;

a)Councillor Pye/Planning Committe= have my respect. It was a tough decision but she realised the necessity for the greater good. Developments like this should not be stopped in urbans areas like E17. That area looks run down, like much of central e17 - and much of this can be blamed on a handful of people who try to shout the most whenever any exciting and edgy development ideas comes up. Silent majority are not lazy as some are claiming. The silent majority are busy raising children, studying, working hard and may find it difficult to attend planning committee meetings - especially when they are going to be faced with an angry crowd. I would have turned up yesterday to show support for the development but didn't really fancy being intimidated by an angry crowd. So I emailed the relevant people instead.

Anyway, I'm really hoping Solum tries to bring in a halal Nando's into the new development. That would be really nice.
Looks like the few who had nothing better to do than engage in a pillow fight on a saturday afternoon and turned up with some placards last night, have now decided to set up camp on the comments section of the WF Guardian. re my response to the various comments here; a)Councillor Pye/Planning Committe= have my respect. It was a tough decision but she realised the necessity for the greater good. Developments like this should not be stopped in urbans areas like E17. That area looks run down, like much of central e17 - and much of this can be blamed on a handful of people who try to shout the most whenever any exciting and edgy development ideas comes up. Silent majority are not lazy as some are claiming. The silent majority are busy raising children, studying, working hard and may find it difficult to attend planning committee meetings - especially when they are going to be faced with an angry crowd. I would have turned up yesterday to show support for the development but didn't really fancy being intimidated by an angry crowd. So I emailed the relevant people instead. Anyway, I'm really hoping Solum tries to bring in a halal Nando's into the new development. That would be really nice. AC1975
  • Score: 0

10:52am Fri 21 Jan 11

JasonOMalley says...

AC1975 - you are missing the point I'm afraid. As an elected member you should respect the people who may have voted you in and who's council tax pay your wages.

Her outburst was not appropriate, she should apologise as a minimum.

It is because of people like her that the public are turning their back on politics.

And by the way - you are right, a Nando's would be nice, but Halal should definitely be an option - not forced upon people.
AC1975 - you are missing the point I'm afraid. As an elected member you should respect the people who may have voted you in and who's council tax pay your wages. Her outburst was not appropriate, she should apologise as a minimum. It is because of people like her that the public are turning their back on politics. And by the way - you are right, a Nando's would be nice, but Halal should definitely be an option - not forced upon people. JasonOMalley
  • Score: 0

10:56am Fri 21 Jan 11

Techno2 says...

The provision of a high rise short-stay hotel is just what the area needs if it is ever to meet the challenges facing the sex workers servicing the 2012 Olympics. As usual though, Waltham Forest council has dragged its feet and now it is unlikely that the beds will be available in time to service the needs of international athletes, sports administrators and high net worth tourists who will be flocking to our Olympic borough during the games now that Clyde Loakes has abolished obesity and chicken shops.

I worry therefore that the building will end up as just another white elephant and not a fitting legacy to the brilliant vision for Walthamstow which the ruling clique and their business partners hope to be able to look back on in their happy retirements in the south of Spain once all these juicy construction contracts have been forced through.
The provision of a high rise short-stay hotel is just what the area needs if it is ever to meet the challenges facing the sex workers servicing the 2012 Olympics. As usual though, Waltham Forest council has dragged its feet and now it is unlikely that the beds will be available in time to service the needs of international athletes, sports administrators and high net worth tourists who will be flocking to our Olympic borough during the games now that Clyde Loakes has abolished obesity and chicken shops. I worry therefore that the building will end up as just another white elephant and not a fitting legacy to the brilliant vision for Walthamstow which the ruling clique and their business partners hope to be able to look back on in their happy retirements in the south of Spain once all these juicy construction contracts have been forced through. Techno2
  • Score: 0

11:00am Fri 21 Jan 11

AC1975 says...

Helen, Walthamstow, Walthamstow says... 9:12am Fri 21 Jan 11 says "This hideously-designed hotel, smack up again the pavement, will not bring any inward investment - business people with money do not stay in cheap hotels, tourists who do will spend their time and money in central London."
What a silly comment you make Helen. You think inward investment means some business folks staying in a hotel? lol. Inward investment means money coming in to an area. That is more likely to happen when an area develops itself, looks trendier/more modern and has more people living in it/coming to it with a disposable income. Other businesses are attracted by it and so forth. Of course people may want to stay at the travelodge hotel to go into Central London, so what's wrong with that exactly? Travelodge will be paying local rates, local traders, and employing local people. And guess what? some of these tourists might actually want to spend one day walking down Europe's longest street market...well i never! AC
Helen, Walthamstow, Walthamstow says... 9:12am Fri 21 Jan 11 says "This hideously-designed hotel, smack up again the pavement, will not bring any inward investment - business people with money do not stay in cheap hotels, tourists who do will spend their time and money in central London." What a silly comment you make Helen. You think inward investment means some business folks staying in a hotel? lol. Inward investment means money coming in to an area. That is more likely to happen when an area develops itself, looks trendier/more modern and has more people living in it/coming to it with a disposable income. Other businesses are attracted by it and so forth. Of course people may want to stay at the travelodge hotel to go into Central London, so what's wrong with that exactly? Travelodge will be paying local rates, local traders, and employing local people. And guess what? some of these tourists might actually want to spend one day walking down Europe's longest street market...well i never! AC AC1975
  • Score: 0

11:03am Fri 21 Jan 11

Jc e17 says...

AC1975 - "Exciting and edgy"? Sorry but have you actually looked at this proposal? It is nothing of the sort - if it were then it might make this worth supporting. Regeneration is definitely required, but this was a developer /site-owner collaboration attempting to get as much in it as the planners and committee would let them. It should have been refused and a more palatable - even edgy and exciting - proposal would have no doubt appeared.
AC1975 - "Exciting and edgy"? Sorry but have you actually looked at this proposal? It is nothing of the sort - if it were then it might make this worth supporting. Regeneration is definitely required, but this was a developer /site-owner collaboration attempting to get as much in it as the planners and committee would let them. It should have been refused and a more palatable - even edgy and exciting - proposal would have no doubt appeared. Jc e17
  • Score: 0

11:08am Fri 21 Jan 11

RichieA70 says...

PLEASE don't give up 'Silent Majority 2009' - it's people like you who care for this area that give it about the only chance of a decent future.

I was at the meeting and was appalled at the lack of intelligent argument given by the councillors who approved the plans. Despite saying they hadn't made their mind up prior to the meeting, clearly they had.

Cllr Marie Pye's comments to 'move to Surrey if you don't want to live here' (or words to that effect) are deeply offensive. She tries to justify these plans which will reduce the total number of families estimated to be in over-crowded conditions by a massive 0.6% by arrogance and rudeness.

These plans are appalling and I can only assume that 'AC1975' reflects the year that this poster thinks he/she is still living in. This site is cramped, with only one way in and out - and that's BEFORE anything gets built.

Pity home owners in Priory Ave who may well find selling up difficult and a fall in the asking price.

Regeneration? No way - these plans are the reverse. Please please please contact Boris Johnson and our GLA member, Jennette Arnold to stop these current proposals going ahead.
PLEASE don't give up 'Silent Majority 2009' - it's people like you who care for this area that give it about the only chance of a decent future. I was at the meeting and was appalled at the lack of intelligent argument given by the councillors who approved the plans. Despite saying they hadn't made their mind up prior to the meeting, clearly they had. Cllr Marie Pye's comments to 'move to Surrey if you don't want to live here' (or words to that effect) are deeply offensive. She tries to justify these plans which will reduce the total number of families estimated to be in over-crowded conditions by a massive 0.6% by arrogance and rudeness. These plans are appalling and I can only assume that 'AC1975' reflects the year that this poster thinks he/she is still living in. This site is cramped, with only one way in and out - and that's BEFORE anything gets built. Pity home owners in Priory Ave who may well find selling up difficult and a fall in the asking price. Regeneration? No way - these plans are the reverse. Please please please contact Boris Johnson and our GLA member, Jennette Arnold to stop these current proposals going ahead. RichieA70
  • Score: 0

11:10am Fri 21 Jan 11

AC1975 says...

If it had been refused then we would spend another 3 years deliberating things and end up achieving nothing. I agree wholeheartedley with Councillor Pye - folks who don't want development in an urban area like E17 -just sell up and go away. There are no valid reasons why these developments should not be happening. Thank god Luddites didn't end up in New York or Seattle.....

...and Jason OMalley don't understand your comments "a Nando's would be nice, but Halal should definitely be an option - not forced upon people."?? A lot of nando's restaurant sell halal chicken - and in those restaurants they only sell halal. The local KFC in the Mall sells halal chicken - you can't ask to be given a non-halal chicken meal...
it's a not a type of different meat you know.

...
If it had been refused then we would spend another 3 years deliberating things and end up achieving nothing. I agree wholeheartedley with Councillor Pye - folks who don't want development in an urban area like E17 -just sell up and go away. There are no valid reasons why these developments should not be happening. Thank god Luddites didn't end up in New York or Seattle..... ...and Jason OMalley don't understand your comments "a Nando's would be nice, but Halal should definitely be an option - not forced upon people."?? A lot of nando's restaurant sell halal chicken - and in those restaurants they only sell halal. The local KFC in the Mall sells halal chicken - you can't ask to be given a non-halal chicken meal... it's a not a type of different meat you know. ... AC1975
  • Score: 0

11:21am Fri 21 Jan 11

RichieA70 says...

AC1975 wrote:
If it had been refused then we would spend another 3 years deliberating things and end up achieving nothing. I agree wholeheartedley with Councillor Pye - folks who don't want development in an urban area like E17 -just sell up and go away. There are no valid reasons why these developments should not be happening. Thank god Luddites didn't end up in New York or Seattle..... ...and Jason OMalley don't understand your comments "a Nando's would be nice, but Halal should definitely be an option - not forced upon people."?? A lot of nando's restaurant sell halal chicken - and in those restaurants they only sell halal. The local KFC in the Mall sells halal chicken - you can't ask to be given a non-halal chicken meal... it's a not a type of different meat you know. ...
Utter rubbish. If these plans were rejected, Solum would have come back with far better ones within months. They have the contract with Network rail to develop these sites and would certainly not simply go away.

Instead cllr's show they have no ambition for the area and no intention in looking at the detail. So they land us with a dreadful precedent for more developments like this which will bring the area down further.
[quote][p][bold]AC1975[/bold] wrote: If it had been refused then we would spend another 3 years deliberating things and end up achieving nothing. I agree wholeheartedley with Councillor Pye - folks who don't want development in an urban area like E17 -just sell up and go away. There are no valid reasons why these developments should not be happening. Thank god Luddites didn't end up in New York or Seattle..... ...and Jason OMalley don't understand your comments "a Nando's would be nice, but Halal should definitely be an option - not forced upon people."?? A lot of nando's restaurant sell halal chicken - and in those restaurants they only sell halal. The local KFC in the Mall sells halal chicken - you can't ask to be given a non-halal chicken meal... it's a not a type of different meat you know. ...[/p][/quote]Utter rubbish. If these plans were rejected, Solum would have come back with far better ones within months. They have the contract with Network rail to develop these sites and would certainly not simply go away. Instead cllr's show they have no ambition for the area and no intention in looking at the detail. So they land us with a dreadful precedent for more developments like this which will bring the area down further. RichieA70
  • Score: 0

11:39am Fri 21 Jan 11

JasonOMalley says...

1975-just re-read your comment, it makes it sound as though you would only be happy if it was a halal Nando's!!.

I probably shouldn't have commented, but the theme of this debate is all about choice.
1975-just re-read your comment, it makes it sound as though you would only be happy if it was a halal Nando's!!. I probably shouldn't have commented, but the theme of this debate is all about choice. JasonOMalley
  • Score: 0

12:04pm Fri 21 Jan 11

DaveE17 says...

Solum supporter (or councillor or supreme ironist) AC1975 should get his or her facts straight. If he or she looked over the plans, it would rapidly become clear that this high-density development is very far from being an 'exciting and edgy development idea' (and reasonable people would almost certainly have nom objection to it if it was). It's actually urban blight of a type that many who have lived in such developments hoped they'd seen the back of. The idea that tower blocks of this type regenerate any night-time economy is a pipe-dream. Just looks at parts of Leyton for further evidence to refute this claim. And if AC1975 thinks any multiplex owner would be persuaded to site one on the arcade site because of the presence of such developments, then he or she is living in cloud-cuckoo land. On the other hand, I wouldn't put it past the council to have a go at building and running one themselves like Bethnal Green's Rich Mix. However, local residents would surely feel somewhat put out if this happened as slashing the council public sector budget whilst simultaneously spending millions building and maintaining a council-run community cinema would seem like a profligate waste and misapplication of limited resources in such straitened times. Furthermore, if the correspondent really thanks god the 'Luddites didn't end up in New York or Seattle', it seems that he or she is unaware of the urban blight that such housing projects brought to New York boroughs like Queens and the Bronx. I'm not sure the residents left in those boroughs regard such developments as either 'edgy' or 'exciting', and I'm similarly unsure that those left here will feel similarly once Solum's proposed development goes up.
Solum supporter (or councillor or supreme ironist) AC1975 should get his or her facts straight. If he or she looked over the plans, it would rapidly become clear that this high-density development is very far from being an 'exciting and edgy development idea' (and reasonable people would almost certainly have nom objection to it if it was). It's actually urban blight of a type that many who have lived in such developments hoped they'd seen the back of. The idea that tower blocks of this type regenerate any night-time economy is a pipe-dream. Just looks at parts of Leyton for further evidence to refute this claim. And if AC1975 thinks any multiplex owner would be persuaded to site one on the arcade site because of the presence of such developments, then he or she is living in cloud-cuckoo land. On the other hand, I wouldn't put it past the council to have a go at building and running one themselves like Bethnal Green's Rich Mix. However, local residents would surely feel somewhat put out if this happened as slashing the council public sector budget whilst simultaneously spending millions building and maintaining a council-run community cinema would seem like a profligate waste and misapplication of limited resources in such straitened times. Furthermore, if the correspondent really thanks god the 'Luddites didn't end up in New York or Seattle', it seems that he or she is unaware of the urban blight that such housing projects brought to New York boroughs like Queens and the Bronx. I'm not sure the residents left in those boroughs regard such developments as either 'edgy' or 'exciting', and I'm similarly unsure that those left here will feel similarly once Solum's proposed development goes up. DaveE17
  • Score: 0

12:36pm Fri 21 Jan 11

Ol' China says...

As another of the so-called 'silent majority' that resides in Walthamstow I feel sufficiently incensed to offer my tuppence worth.

While Councillor Pye's comments may be regarded as incendiary there is a pressing need for regeneration in Walthamstow. During the reign of nu-labour, previously dilapidated parts of out vibrant and multicultural city have flourished and prospered while Walthamstow has gone the other way. It would appear that many on this site are aware of why this has happened.

Whether we like it or not, the winds of change are blowing into the Borough and I for one welcome an improvement to the so called public realm of the locale. Yes, the proposals are imperfect but what is the alternative . . . ?

Shall we languish with the currently (for all the wong reasons) edgy and vibrant High Street while we pontificate on what is wrong with the world (and Walthamstow) in the comfy surrounds of the Village accessible to the few...?

Talk of 'white elephants' in Walthamstow is disingenuous given the situation with the EMD and The Stow to name but two former pillars of the community.

Claims that the proposed structure will attract sex workers for the Games are clearly spurious and sensationalist given that it is highly unlikely that any works will be completed by 2012.
In any case, given the Council's track record on these, frankly medium scale projects, it won't even happen anyway:

1) Tesco's on Forest Road - demolished. Will work ever begin?
2) Arcade site - less said the better
3) EMD Cinema - ditto
4) Stow racetrack - as above
5) Blackhorse Lane regen - ???
6) High St regen - ???

Rant over.

Ps. Regarding Nando's . . . what's wrong with the current offer?
As another of the so-called 'silent majority' that resides in Walthamstow I feel sufficiently incensed to offer my tuppence worth. While Councillor Pye's comments may be regarded as incendiary there is a pressing need for regeneration in Walthamstow. During the reign of nu-labour, previously dilapidated parts of out vibrant and multicultural city have flourished and prospered while Walthamstow has gone the other way. It would appear that many on this site are aware of why this has happened. Whether we like it or not, the winds of change are blowing into the Borough and I for one welcome an improvement to the so called public realm of the locale. Yes, the proposals are imperfect but what is the alternative . . . ? Shall we languish with the currently (for all the wong reasons) edgy and vibrant High Street while we pontificate on what is wrong with the world (and Walthamstow) in the comfy surrounds of the Village accessible to the few...? Talk of 'white elephants' in Walthamstow is disingenuous given the situation with the EMD and The Stow to name but two former pillars of the community. Claims that the proposed structure will attract sex workers for the Games are clearly spurious and sensationalist given that it is highly unlikely that any works will be completed by 2012. In any case, given the Council's track record on these, frankly medium scale projects, it won't even happen anyway: 1) Tesco's on Forest Road - demolished. Will work ever begin? 2) Arcade site - less said the better 3) EMD Cinema - ditto 4) Stow racetrack - as above 5) Blackhorse Lane regen - ??? 6) High St regen - ??? Rant over. Ps. Regarding Nando's . . . what's wrong with the current offer? Ol' China
  • Score: 0

12:46pm Fri 21 Jan 11

AC1975 says...

it's the flavour that Nando's infuses into its chickens. Really tangy, really spicy, really delicious. Nothing comparable in E17 at the moment.
it's the flavour that Nando's infuses into its chickens. Really tangy, really spicy, really delicious. Nothing comparable in E17 at the moment. AC1975
  • Score: 0

12:52pm Fri 21 Jan 11

DaveE17 says...

Ol' China's views are not that far from the majority on this board, as I think we would all 'welcome an improvement to the so called public realm of the locale'. However, there is clearly considerable disagreement on the the best way to achieve this. Having moved to this borough over ten years ago from a borough in North-West London where the council demolished an appalling low-cost high-density housing 1960s social housing project in favour of a lower-rise higher quality development that more closely met the needs and wishes of the residents and surrounding community, I can attest to the fact that these cheap high-rise low-quality alternatives attempted in the past are no solution at all (it's a pity that council there couldn't have extended this further and faster as there are still several similar monstrosities blighting their urban landscape). It's all very well the supporters of such a development saying that 'something must be done' (or words to that effect) and that this at least a start. What we should be agreeing on is the right thing being done. Once this misguided development is built it is unlikely to be modified or replaced for several decades, it is clearly the wrong thing in the wrong place and, unfortunately, may well be the first of many.
Ol' China's views are not that far from the majority on this board, as I think we would all 'welcome an improvement to the so called public realm of the locale'. However, there is clearly considerable disagreement on the the best way to achieve this. Having moved to this borough over ten years ago from a borough in North-West London where the council demolished an appalling low-cost high-density housing 1960s social housing project in favour of a lower-rise higher quality development that more closely met the needs and wishes of the residents and surrounding community, I can attest to the fact that these cheap high-rise low-quality alternatives attempted in the past are no solution at all (it's a pity that council there couldn't have extended this further and faster as there are still several similar monstrosities blighting their urban landscape). It's all very well the supporters of such a development saying that 'something must be done' (or words to that effect) and that this at least a start. What we should be agreeing on is the right thing being done. Once this misguided development is built it is unlikely to be modified or replaced for several decades, it is clearly the wrong thing in the wrong place and, unfortunately, may well be the first of many. DaveE17
  • Score: 0

12:57pm Fri 21 Jan 11

TRAG Man says...

What a shame - this is just one of many inappropriate low quality high-rise developments from Solum.

If Cllr Pye had done her homework on Solum she would have realised they are already working on a low-quality, high density scheme in Epsom, SURREY. The also have plans for massive high-rise developments at Maidstone East KENT, Guildford SURREY, Wembley, Enfield and Twickenham, MIDDX. Unfortunately, there's no escaping Solum's attack on London and the home counties.

None of the Solum development plans are appropriate or sympathetic and all of them feature the typical low quality 'pile em high, pack em in, sell em cheap' designs that Kier are renowned for.

If you need any further evidence of this please visit the Twickenham Residents Action Group website www.trag-sos.co.uk.
I hope for the sake of Walthamstow residents, for the sake of residents of other Solum sites, and for the sake of our skylines that the Walthamstow campaigners can overturn the marginal split decision made last night.
What a shame - this is just one of many inappropriate low quality high-rise developments from Solum. If Cllr Pye had done her homework on Solum she would have realised they are already working on a low-quality, high density scheme in Epsom, SURREY. The also have plans for massive high-rise developments at Maidstone East KENT, Guildford SURREY, Wembley, Enfield and Twickenham, MIDDX. Unfortunately, there's no escaping Solum's attack on London and the home counties. None of the Solum development plans are appropriate or sympathetic and all of them feature the typical low quality 'pile em high, pack em in, sell em cheap' designs that Kier are renowned for. If you need any further evidence of this please visit the Twickenham Residents Action Group website www.trag-sos.co.uk. I hope for the sake of Walthamstow residents, for the sake of residents of other Solum sites, and for the sake of our skylines that the Walthamstow campaigners can overturn the marginal split decision made last night. TRAG Man
  • Score: 0

1:02pm Fri 21 Jan 11

AC1975 says...

Trag Man living in Twickenham dictating the wants/desires of a much more multi-cultural and much poorer borough....
Trag Man living in Twickenham dictating the wants/desires of a much more multi-cultural and much poorer borough.... AC1975
  • Score: 0

1:07pm Fri 21 Jan 11

Ol' China says...

Dave E17, thanks for your comments. Yes, 14 storeys is problematic given the massing of the surrounding area. Though Walthamstow can't remain in aspic. As a lifelong resident I am appalled as to what has happened to this area. Like most of urban London we are not without our troubles but the facts are that there is a pressing need for more housing in London and scarce land for supply.

Current thinking suggests that more intensive forms of living are the way forward for our cities. Apart from expanding into the green belt what are the alternatives?
Dave E17, thanks for your comments. Yes, 14 storeys is problematic given the massing of the surrounding area. Though Walthamstow can't remain in aspic. As a lifelong resident I am appalled as to what has happened to this area. Like most of urban London we are not without our troubles but the facts are that there is a pressing need for more housing in London and scarce land for supply. Current thinking suggests that more intensive forms of living are the way forward for our cities. Apart from expanding into the green belt what are the alternatives? Ol' China
  • Score: 0

1:23pm Fri 21 Jan 11

Helen, Walthamstow says...

Talking of arrogance, I personally find many of AC1975, E17's comments decidedly offensive.

For the record, I wasn't at the pillow fight, I wasn't at the meeting and I don't live either next to the hotel or in the Village.

I do however live in Walthamstow and use the town centre and surrounding area on an almost daily basis and have been writing and commenting on the need for regeneration and improvement of the area for years on this site and in other places.

I strongly object to this plan because it is ugly, over-powering, ill-thought out and will not improve the area. In fact it will bring it down. Wotsisname may poo-poo the syggestion that it will be used by some as a handy knocking shop - which only goes to show how little he knows. Long-time readers of the Guardian will remember how it exposed the antics of prostitutes at another low-budget "transport" hotel in the borough.

Good development means listening to what people who actually know the area have to say. Landmark buildings don't have to be tall, they have to be good. New homes have to be good quality and have a sustainable community life - and I repeat, where the hell do you think the children in this development and the one proposed in St James Street and the Arcade site are going to go to school? There are already children waiting for primary school places in Waltham Forest and that problem will soon overtake our secondary schools too.
Talking of arrogance, I personally find many of AC1975, E17's comments decidedly offensive. For the record, I wasn't at the pillow fight, I wasn't at the meeting and I don't live either next to the hotel or in the Village. I do however live in Walthamstow and use the town centre and surrounding area on an almost daily basis and have been writing and commenting on the need for regeneration and improvement of the area for years on this site and in other places. I strongly object to this plan because it is ugly, over-powering, ill-thought out and will not improve the area. In fact it will bring it down. Wotsisname may poo-poo the syggestion that it will be used by some as a handy knocking shop - which only goes to show how little he knows. Long-time readers of the Guardian will remember how it exposed the antics of prostitutes at another low-budget "transport" hotel in the borough. Good development means listening to what people who actually know the area have to say. Landmark buildings don't have to be tall, they have to be good. New homes have to be good quality and have a sustainable community life - and I repeat, where the hell do you think the children in this development and the one proposed in St James Street and the Arcade site are going to go to school? There are already children waiting for primary school places in Waltham Forest and that problem will soon overtake our secondary schools too. Helen, Walthamstow
  • Score: 0

1:58pm Fri 21 Jan 11

Mr Bernard says...

I dont see why people are so suprised that this development got the go ahead! Waltham Forest council do not listen to the needs of its residents as they know that four years later they will all get voted back in again. Until we start showing some of them (particularly Pye and Loakes) the door, they will keep ruining what is left of this borough. This hotel/tower block/flats/shops building will bring in more council revenue and probably more Labour votes as the only people who would choose to live there will be those who have no choice.

While they're at it, they should knock down all the Cathall houses and build the blocks again to house more people, stop the beaumont estate regeneration and get Kier to build the tower blocks back.

As someone else has mentioned....busines
smen are certainly not going to be staying in a hotel in Walthamstow so no money will be generated there.

Glad to see our councillors moving backwards while the rest of the UK attempts to move forward.
I dont see why people are so suprised that this development got the go ahead! Waltham Forest council do not listen to the needs of its residents as they know that four years later they will all get voted back in again. Until we start showing some of them (particularly Pye and Loakes) the door, they will keep ruining what is left of this borough. This hotel/tower block/flats/shops building will bring in more council revenue and probably more Labour votes as the only people who would choose to live there will be those who have no choice. While they're at it, they should knock down all the Cathall houses and build the blocks again to house more people, stop the beaumont estate regeneration and get Kier to build the tower blocks back. As someone else has mentioned....busines smen are certainly not going to be staying in a hotel in Walthamstow so no money will be generated there. Glad to see our councillors moving backwards while the rest of the UK attempts to move forward. Mr Bernard
  • Score: 0

2:03pm Fri 21 Jan 11

Ol' China says...

For what it's worth, I agree with Helen's comment on 'good development' which of course requires listening to local residents.

Given our current straitjacketed times regarding public budgets any talk of landmark buildings in Walthamstow is welcome. Hence my initial post. That they don't meet design criteria is something else.

Purportedly, legislative procedures are in place for proposed new developments to provide for adequate infrastructural improvements. Of course, whether or not these are actually implemented is another matter . . . !
I shall go back to lurking. Much easier!
For what it's worth, I agree with Helen's comment on 'good development' which of course requires listening to local residents. Given our current straitjacketed times regarding public budgets any talk of landmark buildings in Walthamstow is welcome. Hence my initial post. That they don't meet design criteria is something else. Purportedly, legislative procedures are in place for proposed new developments to provide for adequate infrastructural improvements. Of course, whether or not these are actually implemented is another matter . . . ! I shall go back to lurking. Much easier! Ol' China
  • Score: 0

3:10pm Fri 21 Jan 11

lamorna says...

AC1975
The fact that your handle is AC1975 suggests you're too young too remember when this area was worth living in anyway.
You know.....lidos, libraries with books, cinemas, pop venues, that sort of thing.
No wonder this sounds so good to you!
Personally, I'm not sure how this is going to rejuvenate the area and the idea that it might encourage a multiplex cinema (i.e. one with no good films) fills me with dread.
Still the Pye lady will be glad to hear that I do spend most of my disposable income in Richmond, Greenwich, Hampstead and the like.
Who wouldn't? The shops/pubs in Walthamstow Village being the one bright spot in the borough.
AC1975 The fact that your handle is AC1975 suggests you're too young too remember when this area was worth living in anyway. You know.....lidos, libraries with books, cinemas, pop venues, that sort of thing. No wonder this sounds so good to you! Personally, I'm not sure how this is going to rejuvenate the area and the idea that it might encourage a multiplex cinema (i.e. one with no good films) fills me with dread. Still the Pye lady will be glad to hear that I do spend most of my disposable income in Richmond, Greenwich, Hampstead and the like. Who wouldn't? The shops/pubs in Walthamstow Village being the one bright spot in the borough. lamorna
  • Score: 0

3:12pm Fri 21 Jan 11

sluggeronwheels says...

Good news in my view, about time something nice was put on that waste land
Good news in my view, about time something nice was put on that waste land sluggeronwheels
  • Score: 0

4:05pm Fri 21 Jan 11

Ol' China says...

Lamorna.
I tell you what, I'm old enough to remember when there was an M&S, Sainsburys and a Natwest bank on the lower half of the soddin' High Street! Now look at it. Without wanting to sound too conspiracy-theorist or Orwellian about it all, it really does make you wonder.

You mention Greenwich as a place you shop. Who'd thunk Deptford would be where it is now ten years ago? Contemporary dance venue, The Laban Centre designed by renowned architects? Hampstead is not without it's share of exemplary designed low-rise estates either.

The deprived area thesis that could be readily invoked doesn't really stack up either when applied to Walthamstow. Haringey our local cousin with arguably worse levels of deprivation (some wards amongst the most deprived in the UK) than Walthamstow appear to be a step ahead.

Take a trip to Tottenham Hale Station or along Ferry Lane and you can't fail but notice the blocks that have gone up there. Garish? Unquestionably so. The retail park. Horrendous . . .? Possibly.

I think what I'm getting at is at least money is being generated in the local economy there. One would hope of course that the powers that be at LBWF will make a difference. Though judging by what I see on here I won't be holding my breath!
Lamorna. I tell you what, I'm old enough to remember when there was an M&S, Sainsburys and a Natwest bank on the lower half of the soddin' High Street! Now look at it. Without wanting to sound too conspiracy-theorist or Orwellian about it all, it really does make you wonder. You mention Greenwich as a place you shop. Who'd thunk Deptford would be where it is now ten years ago? Contemporary dance venue, The Laban Centre designed by renowned architects? Hampstead is not without it's share of exemplary designed low-rise estates either. The deprived area thesis that could be readily invoked doesn't really stack up either when applied to Walthamstow. Haringey our local cousin with arguably worse levels of deprivation (some wards amongst the most deprived in the UK) than Walthamstow appear to be a step ahead. Take a trip to Tottenham Hale Station or along Ferry Lane and you can't fail but notice the blocks that have gone up there. Garish? Unquestionably so. The retail park. Horrendous . . .? Possibly. I think what I'm getting at is at least money is being generated in the local economy there. One would hope of course that the powers that be at LBWF will make a difference. Though judging by what I see on here I won't be holding my breath! Ol' China
  • Score: 0

4:29pm Fri 21 Jan 11

mdj says...

Cllr Pye seems to be competing for the Shirley Porter Memorial prize for vote-farming:but while Porter wanted to ship voters out, Pye wants to ship them in. Low-rise, attractive developments run the risk of attracting aspirational, independent-minded people. Such people do not vote for people like Cllr Pye.

Not one comment here is opposed to regeneration: but apart from AC1975, all can see that what we have here is a blight on the Borough.
It's worth commenting on this Borough's ongoing attraction to Kier, who were given the largest-ever fine for contract-rigging, but are still allowed to fail to clean our streets despite charging more than the old in-house service, and now have juicy work in progress at Whipps Cross hospital.
I asked at a Community Council why such firms are not blacklisted automatically, but I won't be getting an answer, because Cllr Pye abolished Community Councils!

The picture is larger than this development, with many more tower blocks in prospect: have our politicians quietly volunteered to let Waltham Forest become a Soweto for London's low-wage, transient workers? The payback would be votes that you can weigh, rather than count (remember the 105% turnout in the High St ward at the last election, which noone in authority said a word about until a private citizen complained).
People need to wake up to the fact that the political parties do not give a **** about them.
Cllr Pye seems to be competing for the Shirley Porter Memorial prize for vote-farming:but while Porter wanted to ship voters out, Pye wants to ship them in. Low-rise, attractive developments run the risk of attracting aspirational, independent-minded people. Such people do not vote for people like Cllr Pye. Not one comment here is opposed to regeneration: but apart from AC1975, all can see that what we have here is a blight on the Borough. It's worth commenting on this Borough's ongoing attraction to Kier, who were given the largest-ever fine for contract-rigging, but are still allowed to fail to clean our streets despite charging more than the old in-house service, and now have juicy work in progress at Whipps Cross hospital. I asked at a Community Council why such firms are not blacklisted automatically, but I won't be getting an answer, because Cllr Pye abolished Community Councils! The picture is larger than this development, with many more tower blocks in prospect: have our politicians quietly volunteered to let Waltham Forest become a Soweto for London's low-wage, transient workers? The payback would be votes that you can weigh, rather than count (remember the 105% turnout in the High St ward at the last election, which noone in authority said a word about until a private citizen complained). People need to wake up to the fact that the political parties do not give a **** about them. mdj
  • Score: 0

4:29pm Fri 21 Jan 11

Sam Hain says...

TRAG Man - the concept of Cllr Pye doing her homework is an oxymoron. She isn't interested in any of the issues or arguments, all she wants is flats, flats, flats - never mind the quality feel the width. Of course people need homes and of course the government's disastrous housing benefit plans will increase that pressure in our borough. But people deserve good quality housing with proper infrastructure and support services. Do we really want Waltham Forest to become the equivalent of a Parisian banlieue like Clichy-Sous-Bois? I fear that's where Cllr Pye's arrogance and intransigence will take us.
TRAG Man - the concept of Cllr Pye doing her homework is an oxymoron. She isn't interested in any of the issues or arguments, all she wants is flats, flats, flats - never mind the quality feel the width. Of course people need homes and of course the government's disastrous housing benefit plans will increase that pressure in our borough. But people deserve good quality housing with proper infrastructure and support services. Do we really want Waltham Forest to become the equivalent of a Parisian banlieue like Clichy-Sous-Bois? I fear that's where Cllr Pye's arrogance and intransigence will take us. Sam Hain
  • Score: 0

5:28pm Fri 21 Jan 11

JasonOMalley says...

The biggest change of any London area in the last 5 years has to be Kensal.

This has been done on the back of no council involvement - people just moved to the area, there was enough critical mass for people to start saying 'i could make money out of this'. The area which 5 years ago was in the papers for murder and muggings recently made it into the new york times as the hippest part of london to live in!.

I think it is a little far fetched to conclude that one tower block housing 89 people in up to 50% affordable housing is going to turn Walthamstow into one of the paris slums.

As someone who just bought my first house in the area, I can tell you first hand that there is a lot of competition from young professionals looking to get into Walthamstow - the more important question is therefore are there enough amenities to keep people interested. This development and the arcade is the ONLY opportunity W/stow will get in the next 10 years to deliver a nightime economy, there is simply no other space left.
The biggest change of any London area in the last 5 years has to be Kensal. This has been done on the back of no council involvement - people just moved to the area, there was enough critical mass for people to start saying 'i could make money out of this'. The area which 5 years ago was in the papers for murder and muggings recently made it into the new york times as the hippest part of london to live in!. I think it is a little far fetched to conclude that one tower block housing 89 people in up to 50% affordable housing is going to turn Walthamstow into one of the paris slums. As someone who just bought my first house in the area, I can tell you first hand that there is a lot of competition from young professionals looking to get into Walthamstow - the more important question is therefore are there enough amenities to keep people interested. This development and the arcade is the ONLY opportunity W/stow will get in the next 10 years to deliver a nightime economy, there is simply no other space left. JasonOMalley
  • Score: 0

6:18pm Fri 21 Jan 11

Ol' China says...

JasonOMalley
Ever been to Broadway Market at the weekend? Talk about the Chelseafication of the eastend! More 'air hell-air' than 'allo mate!'

Sadly, I think this thread concerns that ol' English chestnut about the pernicious ways in which class still functions - even in Walthamstow. While mdj makes some excellent points concerning the obfuscation of the political and procurement process in the borough I don't think that we are all actually in favour of regeneration or whatever you would like to call it.

Far from it. While the Village luxuriates in it's salubrious urban oasis status, the rest - as has been alluded to above - is potentially a Soweto or shock horror, a Parisian banlieue.

Without wanting to get overly personal some of the codified language on here is a bit last millennium. Up the 'Stow and time for an ale!
JasonOMalley Ever been to Broadway Market at the weekend? Talk about the Chelseafication of the eastend! More 'air hell-air' than 'allo mate!' Sadly, I think this thread concerns that ol' English chestnut about the pernicious ways in which class still functions - even in Walthamstow. While mdj makes some excellent points concerning the obfuscation of the political and procurement process in the borough I don't think that we are all actually in favour of regeneration or whatever you would like to call it. Far from it. While the Village luxuriates in it's salubrious urban oasis status, the rest - as has been alluded to above - is potentially a Soweto or shock horror, a Parisian banlieue. Without wanting to get overly personal some of the codified language on here is a bit last millennium. Up the 'Stow and time for an ale! Ol' China
  • Score: 0

6:21pm Fri 21 Jan 11

EWX says...

Like Ol China and Lamorna I can also remember when Walthamstow and leyton was a nice place to live. When we had that 'vibrant' night time ecomony, based not round barbarically slaughtered halal but traditional real ale.
If my late father and I fancied a drink within 10 minutes walk in any direction we had the Beaumont, the Bakers Arms, the Wakefield, the Holly Bush, the Lorne, the Ringwood, the Blackbirds, Oliver Twist, not all always to our taste but that's diversity. Or was. I know the Duke of Cambridge, William IV and what started life as the Auctioneers remain.
We had cinemas at Bakers Arms, Markhouse Road and Leytonstone as well as the site in Walthamstow mentioned here.
When the All Seasons was two useful petrol garages and a ladder factory, not a knocking shop, as it was described on 'trip advisor'.
I also remember the little streets between Boundary Road and Longfellow Road which were pulled down to make way for an estate of tower blocks. And how unhappy people were in those blocks, which were pulled down about 10 years ago and replaced with houses with gardens, laid out in streets, which is what people should live in.
So why the council have not learnt from earlier mistakes I can only imagine, but I fear mdj may be on to something.
Leyton and Walthamstow are near to central London for work, the beauty of Epping Forest and the Lea Valley are on the doorstep, given good leadership it could be the excellent place to grow up again that it was for me.
Please don't give up.
Like Ol China and Lamorna I can also remember when Walthamstow and leyton was a nice place to live. When we had that 'vibrant' night time ecomony, based not round barbarically slaughtered halal but traditional real ale. If my late father and I fancied a drink within 10 minutes walk in any direction we had the Beaumont, the Bakers Arms, the Wakefield, the Holly Bush, the Lorne, the Ringwood, the Blackbirds, Oliver Twist, not all always to our taste but that's diversity. Or was. I know the Duke of Cambridge, William IV and what started life as the Auctioneers remain. We had cinemas at Bakers Arms, Markhouse Road and Leytonstone as well as the site in Walthamstow mentioned here. When the All Seasons was two useful petrol garages and a ladder factory, not a knocking shop, as it was described on 'trip advisor'. I also remember the little streets between Boundary Road and Longfellow Road which were pulled down to make way for an estate of tower blocks. And how unhappy people were in those blocks, which were pulled down about 10 years ago and replaced with houses with gardens, laid out in streets, which is what people should live in. So why the council have not learnt from earlier mistakes I can only imagine, but I fear mdj may be on to something. Leyton and Walthamstow are near to central London for work, the beauty of Epping Forest and the Lea Valley are on the doorstep, given good leadership it could be the excellent place to grow up again that it was for me. Please don't give up. EWX
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6:31pm Fri 21 Jan 11

Ol' China says...

EWX.
Top post.
EWX. Top post. Ol' China
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11:18pm Fri 21 Jan 11

sensibility says...

I really do feel sorry for those who will be stuck particularly those on floors 10-14 when the lift breaks down.

For the mums and any eldery who may be housed there who have to heave buggies and shopping up and down loads and loads of steps.
I really do feel sorry for those who will be stuck particularly those on floors 10-14 when the lift breaks down. For the mums and any eldery who may be housed there who have to heave buggies and shopping up and down loads and loads of steps. sensibility
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12:32am Sat 22 Jan 11

bobbysocks says...

It never ceases to amaze me how some of the posters on here are so 'anti' the village. Yes, it is a fairly decent part of a grim East London borough that is still blighted by thieving scum coming in from the surrounding areas. Why is it so 'yuppiefied'? Did the council throw loads of money at it? No, it is because decent people have moved in (or are still here), with respect for their neighbours and their area and a realisation that the world doesn't owe them a feckin living. These are the only sort of people who will keep this place going. Look at the town centre and most other parts and all you see are scumbags robbing and treating the place like a dump. There won't be a night-time economy with the new dev. It WILL just attract scumbags and antisocial behaviour. The only people who will be willing to live there will be the desperate and by their very nature will not have any respect for the place - just expect everything to be handed to them on a plate. I despair that my kids are growing up near to Baker's Arms gang play area and town centre toilet but the village keesp me sane and the tube means they can escape to culture quite quickly. In the meantime, have some respect for the community around the village who pay their council tax and put in some real effort in order to improve the lives of the residents and visitors. If the rest of the borough had the same attitude, we might have a decent quality of life - but I doubt it, most are happy to sheet on their own doorstep and live in squalor, waiting for the next hand out.
It never ceases to amaze me how some of the posters on here are so 'anti' the village. Yes, it is a fairly decent part of a grim East London borough that is still blighted by thieving scum coming in from the surrounding areas. Why is it so 'yuppiefied'? Did the council throw loads of money at it? No, it is because decent people have moved in (or are still here), with respect for their neighbours and their area and a realisation that the world doesn't owe them a feckin living. These are the only sort of people who will keep this place going. Look at the town centre and most other parts and all you see are scumbags robbing and treating the place like a dump. There won't be a night-time economy with the new dev. It WILL just attract scumbags and antisocial behaviour. The only people who will be willing to live there will be the desperate and by their very nature will not have any respect for the place - just expect everything to be handed to them on a plate. I despair that my kids are growing up near to Baker's Arms gang play area and town centre toilet but the village keesp me sane and the tube means they can escape to culture quite quickly. In the meantime, have some respect for the community around the village who pay their council tax and put in some real effort in order to improve the lives of the residents and visitors. If the rest of the borough had the same attitude, we might have a decent quality of life - but I doubt it, most are happy to sheet on their own doorstep and live in squalor, waiting for the next hand out. bobbysocks
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8:45am Sat 22 Jan 11

lamorna says...

Completely agree.
The Village is the 'only' part of the borough with a thriving night-time economy and appears to have achieved that feat in spite, not because, of the bods in the Town Hall.
Indeed, although my wife and I live a 15 minute walk away from the area, we make that walk regularly and spend 90% of the money that we spend in Walthamstow in The Village pub, E17 and the mini-supermarket etc.
It appears that some commentators on here think that raising expectations/standar
ds or trying to better yourself is almost a crime against that person's class.
Personally, I'm sick of being told that tat, ridiculous clothing, and a profound lack of talent (in music, for example) or graffiti is the benchmark for the community.
I'm even thinking about setting up 'middle class courses' to raise the bar a bit.
Completely agree. The Village is the 'only' part of the borough with a thriving night-time economy and appears to have achieved that feat in spite, not because, of the bods in the Town Hall. Indeed, although my wife and I live a 15 minute walk away from the area, we make that walk regularly and spend 90% of the money that we spend in Walthamstow in The Village pub, E17 and the mini-supermarket etc. It appears that some commentators on here think that raising expectations/standar ds or trying to better yourself is almost a crime against that person's class. Personally, I'm sick of being told that tat, ridiculous clothing, and a profound lack of talent (in music, for example) or graffiti is the benchmark for the community. I'm even thinking about setting up 'middle class courses' to raise the bar a bit. lamorna
  • Score: 0

9:13am Sat 22 Jan 11

Ol' China says...

Noone is denigrating the village. The point being made is that I would rather there be a tangible benefit for all of Walthamstow rather than for the privileged few. Wishful thinking perhaps ?

Ps. good luck with setting up middle class courses . . . sounds like fun!
Noone is denigrating the village. The point being made is that I would rather there be a tangible benefit for all of Walthamstow rather than for the privileged few. Wishful thinking perhaps ? Ps. good luck with setting up middle class courses . . . sounds like fun! Ol' China
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3:25pm Sat 22 Jan 11

Sam Hain says...

I agree with you. Ol' China, about benefits for the many rather than the few and that is why I think I do denigrate, or at least deprecate, the Village. It irritates me not so much because of its pretentiousness (despite its actual mediocrity) but the apparent disregard, if not actual obliviousness, of its denizens to the many serious social problems that surround it. Gentrification is all very well, superficially at least, but often masks, as here, a determination to ignore, and even sneer at, the grim reality of the lives of the majority. In this sense it is a ghetto of privilege. The development at Walthamstow Central, on the other hand, may become a ghetto of a more classic kind. It will do little or nothing to improve the quality of life for the many in the area and may even add to the sense, if not the reality, of squalor and deprivation. Sensibility asks what will happen when the lifts break down. I would add just wait for the satelilite dishes and the washing on balconies to go up and then one will really begin to get a feel for the Parisian banlieue.
I agree with you. Ol' China, about benefits for the many rather than the few and that is why I think I do denigrate, or at least deprecate, the Village. It irritates me not so much because of its pretentiousness (despite its actual mediocrity) but the apparent disregard, if not actual obliviousness, of its denizens to the many serious social problems that surround it. Gentrification is all very well, superficially at least, but often masks, as here, a determination to ignore, and even sneer at, the grim reality of the lives of the majority. In this sense it is a ghetto of privilege. The development at Walthamstow Central, on the other hand, may become a ghetto of a more classic kind. It will do little or nothing to improve the quality of life for the many in the area and may even add to the sense, if not the reality, of squalor and deprivation. Sensibility asks what will happen when the lifts break down. I would add just wait for the satelilite dishes and the washing on balconies to go up and then one will really begin to get a feel for the Parisian banlieue. Sam Hain
  • Score: 0

6:27pm Sat 22 Jan 11

AC1975 says...

Most of the comments posted here demonstrate;

a) sneering down on the less well off members of the community and their welfare (these members of the community of course didn't have the time nor money to show their support of the solum plan)
b) failure to understand the importance of basic economics,and the need to generate money which umm ultimately benefits the community.

Just goes to show that Councillor Pye was right.
Most of the comments posted here demonstrate; a) sneering down on the less well off members of the community and their welfare (these members of the community of course didn't have the time nor money to show their support of the solum plan) b) failure to understand the importance of basic economics,and the need to generate money which umm ultimately benefits the community. Just goes to show that Councillor Pye was right. AC1975
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6:30pm Sat 22 Jan 11

Walthamster says...

Marie Pye is unfortunately right on one point. Those who can afford to will start moving out of Walthamstow, taking the money they spend locally with them.

Deliberately building the slums of the future is vicious.

But councillors and council officers will go on pocketing their huge pay. Landlords with influence on the council will go on making a killing from the inflow of new tenants - many of them poor (so the landlord gets a guaranteed income from housing benefit) and unfamiliar with British law (so no complaints if the housing is shoddy).

Just tough luck for those who love Walthamstow or who are too old to move away.
Marie Pye is unfortunately right on one point. Those who can afford to will start moving out of Walthamstow, taking the money they spend locally with them. Deliberately building the slums of the future is vicious. But councillors and council officers will go on pocketing their huge pay. Landlords with influence on the council will go on making a killing from the inflow of new tenants - many of them poor (so the landlord gets a guaranteed income from housing benefit) and unfamiliar with British law (so no complaints if the housing is shoddy). Just tough luck for those who love Walthamstow or who are too old to move away. Walthamster
  • Score: 0

7:03pm Sat 22 Jan 11

Sam Hain says...

Cllr Pye right, AC1975? Well, that's a novel concept. If she is, it'll be a first and if she isn't, we're all stuffed!
Cllr Pye right, AC1975? Well, that's a novel concept. If she is, it'll be a first and if she isn't, we're all stuffed! Sam Hain
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7:55pm Sat 22 Jan 11

AC1975 says...

Walthamster, Walthamstow says...
6:30pm Sat 22 Jan 11
"..Those who can afford to will start moving out of Walthamstow, taking the money they spend locally with them..."

I wouldn't worry too much about that to be honest. If people want to move out of a place they will anyway and have done so. Some people move away because they don't like the multi-culturalism of a particular place - again if that's what they want then so be it.
BUT more people will move into E17 once investment/developme
nt is ongoing and a night time economy is establised.
Walthamster, Walthamstow says... 6:30pm Sat 22 Jan 11 "..Those who can afford to will start moving out of Walthamstow, taking the money they spend locally with them..." I wouldn't worry too much about that to be honest. If people want to move out of a place they will anyway and have done so. Some people move away because they don't like the multi-culturalism of a particular place - again if that's what they want then so be it. BUT more people will move into E17 once investment/developme nt is ongoing and a night time economy is establised. AC1975
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10:25pm Sat 22 Jan 11

Ol' China says...

Notwithstanding the pro's and con's of the Village, it acts as a beacon of what Walthamstow can be. A touch optimistic? Perhaps.

Indeed, gentrification is a double edged sword. I wanted to post earlier that William Morris - one of our most distinguished former residents - would be rolling in his grave to read some of the drivel above.

The fact remains that there is dire shortage of housing in London and a lack of supply. Where development is managed well there is potential for good to happen.

Critical mass was cited above as a driver for change. 'Murder Mile', aka Lower Clapton Road was deemed a no-go zone not so long ago. Now, with the influx of social, cultural and economic capital the disparate inhabitants of the area seem to rub along pretty well. Go into some of the pubs round there (I won't mention which ones!) and it feels like one has landed in the home counties and I'm attending Abigail's Party.

I fear that Walthamstow will go the way of Barking & Dagenham where seats are won by the BNP and we get thrown into the national limelight for all the wrong reasons. Given the job that the current duplicitous lot at our Council are doing who knows where we'll end up? I fear the worst if we stand still.
Notwithstanding the pro's and con's of the Village, it acts as a beacon of what Walthamstow can be. A touch optimistic? Perhaps. Indeed, gentrification is a double edged sword. I wanted to post earlier that William Morris - one of our most distinguished former residents - would be rolling in his grave to read some of the drivel above. The fact remains that there is dire shortage of housing in London and a lack of supply. Where development is managed well there is potential for good to happen. Critical mass was cited above as a driver for change. 'Murder Mile', aka Lower Clapton Road was deemed a no-go zone not so long ago. Now, with the influx of social, cultural and economic capital the disparate inhabitants of the area seem to rub along pretty well. Go into some of the pubs round there (I won't mention which ones!) and it feels like one has landed in the home counties and I'm attending Abigail's Party. I fear that Walthamstow will go the way of Barking & Dagenham where seats are won by the BNP and we get thrown into the national limelight for all the wrong reasons. Given the job that the current duplicitous lot at our Council are doing who knows where we'll end up? I fear the worst if we stand still. Ol' China
  • Score: 0

11:45pm Sat 22 Jan 11

Sam Hain says...

I wonder which 'drivel' you are referring to, Ol' China, that would disturb Willliam Morris's final repose? I don't think it was gentrification he would find objectionable, but exactly the opposite. He famously wrote that he found the built-up state of Walthamstow, compared with the semi-rural situation he had known as a child at Water House, to be "very jerry-built and cocknified". Not, perhaps, his finest moment as a Socialist but I think he would recognise, and empathise, the concerns many of us in the borough have nowadays about what one might call lowest-common-denomi
nator development.
I wonder which 'drivel' you are referring to, Ol' China, that would disturb Willliam Morris's final repose? I don't think it was gentrification he would find objectionable, but exactly the opposite. He famously wrote that he found the built-up state of Walthamstow, compared with the semi-rural situation he had known as a child at Water House, to be "very jerry-built and cocknified". Not, perhaps, his finest moment as a Socialist but I think he would recognise, and empathise, the concerns many of us in the borough have nowadays about what one might call lowest-common-denomi nator development. Sam Hain
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9:07am Sun 23 Jan 11

Silent Majority 2009 says...

Its all very well making our points but what are we going to do to change things? Those making an effort to engage are ignored, Labour's strong leader is now dictating a lowest common denominator solution, the Liberals are a spent force, Tories are only supported in Chingford. The Village Residents show what can be achieved if you keep the politicians out. So how can we save Walthamstow?
Its all very well making our points but what are we going to do to change things? Those making an effort to engage are ignored, Labour's strong leader is now dictating a lowest common denominator solution, the Liberals are a spent force, Tories are only supported in Chingford. The Village Residents show what can be achieved if you keep the politicians out. So how can we save Walthamstow? Silent Majority 2009
  • Score: 0

10:58am Sun 23 Jan 11

Sam Hain says...

UDI, Silent Majority? Probably better a mass Council Tax strike. But would we be prepared to go to prison for our principles? Hmm!
UDI, Silent Majority? Probably better a mass Council Tax strike. But would we be prepared to go to prison for our principles? Hmm! Sam Hain
  • Score: 0

2:04pm Sun 23 Jan 11

mdj says...

'what are we going to do to change things?'
Well, Silent Majority, some of us stood as independents at the last election to make the point that we owe the party system nothing, because it isn't doing anything for us any more.Politicians promise us the moon, then break their word without shame at a moment's notice.
If you study how Havering works, non-party candidates chosen by their neighbourhoods - after an open hustings process - form the largest opposition group; not against Labour, but the Tories. So Independent doesn't have to be code for a Tory standing where a declared Tory would have no chance.
I would like to see each ward covered by a single residents' association (which could replace the Community Councils, but not under Council control). These would choose one or more candidates at each election. If 15-20 got elected, no party could force mad things through, and scrutiny might mean something. The independents would offer their resignation to the ward each year, giving an effective right of recall, which in practice would rarely arise.
As for a tax strike, Sam, do you feel that you're being represented at the moment? We all know the relevant slogan!
'what are we going to do to change things?' Well, Silent Majority, some of us stood as independents at the last election to make the point that we owe the party system nothing, because it isn't doing anything for us any more.Politicians promise us the moon, then break their word without shame at a moment's notice. If you study how Havering works, non-party candidates chosen by their neighbourhoods - after an open hustings process - form the largest opposition group; not against Labour, but the Tories. So Independent doesn't have to be code for a Tory standing where a declared Tory would have no chance. I would like to see each ward covered by a single residents' association (which could replace the Community Councils, but not under Council control). These would choose one or more candidates at each election. If 15-20 got elected, no party could force mad things through, and scrutiny might mean something. The independents would offer their resignation to the ward each year, giving an effective right of recall, which in practice would rarely arise. As for a tax strike, Sam, do you feel that you're being represented at the moment? We all know the relevant slogan! mdj
  • Score: 0

2:05pm Sun 23 Jan 11

lamorna says...

Let's call the Pye lady's bluff and, en masse, pitch up in a Surrey village one Saturday morning wearing Oliver Twist and Artful Dodger costumes.
10,000 east-enders marching round a village green miles from civilization with placards and witty banter would make the national news, no problem.
Unless, David Beckham has another blister, of course.
Let's call the Pye lady's bluff and, en masse, pitch up in a Surrey village one Saturday morning wearing Oliver Twist and Artful Dodger costumes. 10,000 east-enders marching round a village green miles from civilization with placards and witty banter would make the national news, no problem. Unless, David Beckham has another blister, of course. lamorna
  • Score: 0

2:40pm Sun 23 Jan 11

AC1975 says...

lamorna, Walthamstow says...
2:05pm Sun 23 Jan 11
"Let's call the Pye lady's bluff and, en masse, pitch up in a Surrey village one Saturday morning wearing Oliver Twist and Artful Dodger costumes.
10,000 east-enders marching round a village green miles from civilization with placards and witty banter would make the national news, no problem."

LMFAO!! ROFL!! so let's get this straight you really think that the handful of the privileged village residents association members, 12 priory avenue residents association members, 17 pillow fighters and about 8 WF Guardian posterd= 10,000 eastenders??? Reading the comments above I really do believe that some of you hugely over value the importance of your point of view. Go on prove me wrong and stand at the next election - let's see how far you get.....And yes whilst Mr Morris is a cultural icon of some note, he is now dead and I really don't think I'm interested in the applicability of his 19th century Victorian thinking on the 21st century multi cultural urban sprawl that is Walthamstow.
lamorna, Walthamstow says... 2:05pm Sun 23 Jan 11 "Let's call the Pye lady's bluff and, en masse, pitch up in a Surrey village one Saturday morning wearing Oliver Twist and Artful Dodger costumes. 10,000 east-enders marching round a village green miles from civilization with placards and witty banter would make the national news, no problem." LMFAO!! ROFL!! so let's get this straight you really think that the handful of the privileged village residents association members, 12 priory avenue residents association members, 17 pillow fighters and about 8 WF Guardian posterd= 10,000 eastenders??? Reading the comments above I really do believe that some of you hugely over value the importance of your point of view. Go on prove me wrong and stand at the next election - let's see how far you get.....And yes whilst Mr Morris is a cultural icon of some note, he is now dead and I really don't think I'm interested in the applicability of his 19th century Victorian thinking on the 21st century multi cultural urban sprawl that is Walthamstow. AC1975
  • Score: 0

2:53pm Sun 23 Jan 11

Ol' China says...

Mdj
As ever interesting post. My question would be given the local status quo, what scope is there for this to happen?

Silent Majority 2009.
If only we knew the answers. Though I think it is fair and safe to say that something terribly amiss is happening at our Council.

Sam Hain.
Regarding Morris. Aesthetically speaking, you are on the money. Pun intended. Though to characterise the proposed Walthamstow Central station development as 'lowest common denominator' is as facetious as your reference to banlieues!

I don't think I need to spell out lowest common denominator development in Walthamstow. There are enough posts above to suggest who the perpetrators of urban blight in our borough are and who is/are implicated.

Your reference to Walthamstow becoming a Parisian banlieue or as another poster has mentioned the slums of the future risks alienating people. Most people who reside in Walthamstow do not possess your level of eloquence and articulacy. After all, isn’t the quality and quantity of books available in our local libraries (what’s left of them) shocking enough already?

As others have mentioned, provision of schooling is a concern in the borough. How will future generations of young scholars from Walthamstow fare in the future? Without wanting to go too much off topic it seems to me that the conflict here is one between capital and local politics. Or, what is considered to be local democracy in Walthamstow.

Dangerous precedents have been set in urban areas with a history of neglect. Wasn't the heady mix of disregard for the less priviliged coupled with high unemployment responsible for the Brixton and Tottenham riots during the initial years of Thatcher's administration?

We live in worrying times. We can't expect Morris' modern day starchitect equivalent to erect a glass edifice, or similar, on the site. What are your expectations? A proto-typical, medium rise, ‘green’, ‘sustainable’ and eco number resplendent with wind turbine appendages, sedum roof and PV solar panels? I suspect not.
Mdj As ever interesting post. My question would be given the local status quo, what scope is there for this to happen? Silent Majority 2009. If only we knew the answers. Though I think it is fair and safe to say that something terribly amiss is happening at our Council. Sam Hain. Regarding Morris. Aesthetically speaking, you are on the money. Pun intended. Though to characterise the proposed Walthamstow Central station development as 'lowest common denominator' is as facetious as your reference to banlieues! I don't think I need to spell out lowest common denominator development in Walthamstow. There are enough posts above to suggest who the perpetrators of urban blight in our borough are and who is/are implicated. Your reference to Walthamstow becoming a Parisian banlieue or as another poster has mentioned the slums of the future risks alienating people. Most people who reside in Walthamstow do not possess your level of eloquence and articulacy. After all, isn’t the quality and quantity of books available in our local libraries (what’s left of them) shocking enough already? As others have mentioned, provision of schooling is a concern in the borough. How will future generations of young scholars from Walthamstow fare in the future? Without wanting to go too much off topic it seems to me that the conflict here is one between capital and local politics. Or, what is considered to be local democracy in Walthamstow. Dangerous precedents have been set in urban areas with a history of neglect. Wasn't the heady mix of disregard for the less priviliged coupled with high unemployment responsible for the Brixton and Tottenham riots during the initial years of Thatcher's administration? We live in worrying times. We can't expect Morris' modern day starchitect equivalent to erect a glass edifice, or similar, on the site. What are your expectations? A proto-typical, medium rise, ‘green’, ‘sustainable’ and eco number resplendent with wind turbine appendages, sedum roof and PV solar panels? I suspect not. Ol' China
  • Score: 0

3:20pm Sun 23 Jan 11

Helen, Walthamstow says...

AC1975, you continue to confuse the need for development and improvement with the requirement for quality of provision.

As far as the low-budget high-rise hotel is concerned, it will do absolutely nothing to generate income for this borough, which you correctly identify as a poor one. We do need to bring money in, but this ugly scheme won't do it.

As for new housing, you accuse your opponents of "sneering down on the less well off members of the community and their welfare (these members of the community of course didn't have the time nor money to show their support of the solum plan)".

Acually, my view (and I'm sure I'm not alone among the other posters in this) is that I want to raise the standard of living, the quality of education, the prosperity and the expectations of the poorer members of our community by providing them with good homes in sustainable community settings. Tower blocks and other high-density housing developments don't do that - and that's one lesson we should have learned from the history that you are so eager to sneer at and consign to the dustbin.

As far as the night time economy is concerned, we have seen the destruction of what we had by way of cinemas (plural), theatre (we have none) and pubs. There is no shortage of restaurants. We need a revived night time economy but show me what efforts the council have made to encourage its growth. Answer: none.

Our councillors lack the vision and - dare I suggest it - the intelligence to deal with our increasing problems in a productive way that will improve the quality of life for us all.
AC1975, you continue to confuse the need for development and improvement with the requirement for quality of provision. As far as the low-budget high-rise hotel is concerned, it will do absolutely nothing to generate income for this borough, which you correctly identify as a poor one. We do need to bring money in, but this ugly scheme won't do it. As for new housing, you accuse your opponents of "sneering down on the less well off members of the community and their welfare (these members of the community of course didn't have the time nor money to show their support of the solum plan)". Acually, my view (and I'm sure I'm not alone among the other posters in this) is that I want to raise the standard of living, the quality of education, the prosperity and the expectations of the poorer members of our community by providing them with good homes in sustainable community settings. Tower blocks and other high-density housing developments don't do that - and that's one lesson we should have learned from the history that you are so eager to sneer at and consign to the dustbin. As far as the night time economy is concerned, we have seen the destruction of what we had by way of cinemas (plural), theatre (we have none) and pubs. There is no shortage of restaurants. We need a revived night time economy but show me what efforts the council have made to encourage its growth. Answer: none. Our councillors lack the vision and - dare I suggest it - the intelligence to deal with our increasing problems in a productive way that will improve the quality of life for us all. Helen, Walthamstow
  • Score: 0

3:38pm Sun 23 Jan 11

mdj says...

Ol' China,
I'm sure your'e not aligning yourself with the bombastic scorn of AC 1975 above.
When Morris made his unfortunate remark about cockneyfication, he meant, not that Walthamstow was no longer good enough for him, but that tacky, crowded, third-rate accommodation isn't good enough for ANYONE. That's also the position of the objectors here. His vision led towards the Garden Cities. Our decision-makers take the stance that the poorer and less-educated can put up with second-rate housing. This stance serves the electoral interest of both main parties. Most of the time I've lived here, the unit cost of new public housing has been higher than the current price of existing properties for sale locally. (eg Leyton Town Hall, currently) Could that money not have been better spent?
The larger issue is that the Councillors have meekly accepted population targets for this Borough laid down by outsiders which local residents would never have accepted, given the choice; they have chosen to act as functionaries of the state rather than elected local tribunes. Too many of them have parallel careers in local government to see what is wrong with this, or want to risk those careers.
Ol' China, I'm sure your'e not aligning yourself with the bombastic scorn of AC 1975 above. When Morris made his unfortunate remark about cockneyfication, he meant, not that Walthamstow was no longer good enough for him, but that tacky, crowded, third-rate accommodation isn't good enough for ANYONE. That's also the position of the objectors here. His vision led towards the Garden Cities. Our decision-makers take the stance that the poorer and less-educated can put up with second-rate housing. This stance serves the electoral interest of both main parties. Most of the time I've lived here, the unit cost of new public housing has been higher than the current price of existing properties for sale locally. (eg Leyton Town Hall, currently) Could that money not have been better spent? The larger issue is that the Councillors have meekly accepted population targets for this Borough laid down by outsiders which local residents would never have accepted, given the choice; they have chosen to act as functionaries of the state rather than elected local tribunes. Too many of them have parallel careers in local government to see what is wrong with this, or want to risk those careers. mdj
  • Score: 0

3:44pm Sun 23 Jan 11

lamorna says...

AC1975
erm....LMFAO? ROFL?....what on earth are you going on about?
You take yourself far, far too seriously.
Must be all the e-numbers you ruin your system with in your 99p boxes of chicken 'n' chips.
If it's not too middle-class, eat some vegetables and get plenty of fresh air.
AC1975 erm....LMFAO? ROFL?....what on earth are you going on about? You take yourself far, far too seriously. Must be all the e-numbers you ruin your system with in your 99p boxes of chicken 'n' chips. If it's not too middle-class, eat some vegetables and get plenty of fresh air. lamorna
  • Score: 0

3:51pm Sun 23 Jan 11

Ol' China says...

mdj.
Yes.
But we live in different times. Population pressures are such that London, whether we like it or not, must change and adapt to changing circumstances. Perhaps I'm being naive in suggesting that with coordinated efforts and pressure these can turn out for the common good?

Parts of Hampstead Garden Suburb were initially designed for the working classes. Though where we find a philanthropist with sufficiently deep pockets willing to invest in Walthamstow is another matter.

I accept the points you make in your latter paragraph, being all too aware of the monstrosities that now inflict our borough. My question would be then, how do we mobilise for want of a better term a critical mass for the good of Walthamstow?
mdj. Yes. But we live in different times. Population pressures are such that London, whether we like it or not, must change and adapt to changing circumstances. Perhaps I'm being naive in suggesting that with coordinated efforts and pressure these can turn out for the common good? Parts of Hampstead Garden Suburb were initially designed for the working classes. Though where we find a philanthropist with sufficiently deep pockets willing to invest in Walthamstow is another matter. I accept the points you make in your latter paragraph, being all too aware of the monstrosities that now inflict our borough. My question would be then, how do we mobilise for want of a better term a critical mass for the good of Walthamstow? Ol' China
  • Score: 0

8:08pm Mon 24 Jan 11

sluggeronwheels says...

Maybe another pillow fight would be good.
Maybe another pillow fight would be good. sluggeronwheels
  • Score: 0

9:56pm Mon 24 Jan 11

Cllr Matt Davis says...

AC1975, It is hard not to come to the conclusion that you are in fact Cllr Pye herself, you're certainly not a resident local to the Station if you think that this dreadful scheme is a good thing to have there.

Unfortunately under Cllrs Robbins and Pye the mantra clearly is: build anything, anywhere, just so long as building is seen to be done.

Oh and am I the only one starting to find Cllr Pye's Maude Flanders (ex The Simpsons) impression rather wearing at Planning Committee, you know the "Won't somebody please think of the children" one that she always trots out, without any actual evidence, when supporting these ghastly schemes?
AC1975, It is hard not to come to the conclusion that you are in fact Cllr Pye herself, you're certainly not a resident local to the Station if you think that this dreadful scheme is a good thing to have there. Unfortunately under Cllrs Robbins and Pye the mantra clearly is: build anything, anywhere, just so long as building is seen to be done. Oh and am I the only one starting to find Cllr Pye's Maude Flanders (ex The Simpsons) impression rather wearing at Planning Committee, you know the "Won't somebody please think of the children" one that she always trots out, without any actual evidence, when supporting these ghastly schemes? Cllr Matt Davis
  • Score: 0

10:05pm Mon 24 Jan 11

Ol' China says...

sluggeronwheels wrote:
Maybe another pillow fight would be good.
I'm a lover not a fighter!
[quote][p][bold]sluggeronwheels[/bold] wrote: Maybe another pillow fight would be good.[/p][/quote]I'm a lover not a fighter! Ol' China
  • Score: 0

3:18pm Tue 25 Jan 11

AC1975 says...

Salaam Cllr Matt Davis!

I am sure Cllr Pye could instigate an action for defamation against some of the posters on here for insinuating that she appears on the WF Guardian website pretending to be someone she is not. So let's bury that one right now - I am not Pye. I also live right near the station and arcade developments.

I generally want whatever is good for the betterment of the community, as no doubt you do too, especially for the less well off members. To me well thought out urban development is a necessary evil, where the money/jobs it generates is absolutely necessary for poorer boroughs especially in an age where the Conservatives are cutting back on local authority funding. And yes this development is on paper well thought and will generate vital money.

And no I'm not linked to Solum or have any vested interests. Just a good citizen who went to a good school near where you live, thinking about the good of the community as a whole.

"It is NOT the inaugural condition that is the determinant of a town that is decisive: it is the ability to molt that is important."

I certainly don't like comments like lamorna's , "Walthamstow says...
3:44pm Sun 23 Jan 11 what on earth are you going on about?
You take yourself far, far too seriously.
Must be all the e-numbers you ruin your system with in your 99p boxes of chicken 'n' chips. If it's not too middle-class, eat some vegetables and get plenty of fresh air."

Lamorna you should appreciate that all some people can sometimes actually afford are 99p boxes of chicken n chips.....
Salaam Cllr Matt Davis! I am sure Cllr Pye could instigate an action for defamation against some of the posters on here for insinuating that she appears on the WF Guardian website pretending to be someone she is not. So let's bury that one right now - I am not Pye. I also live right near the station and arcade developments. I generally want whatever is good for the betterment of the community, as no doubt you do too, especially for the less well off members. To me well thought out urban development is a necessary evil, where the money/jobs it generates is absolutely necessary for poorer boroughs especially in an age where the Conservatives are cutting back on local authority funding. And yes this development is on paper well thought and will generate vital money. And no I'm not linked to Solum or have any vested interests. Just a good citizen who went to a good school near where you live, thinking about the good of the community as a whole. "It is NOT the inaugural condition that is the determinant of a town that is decisive: it is the ability to molt that is important." I certainly don't like comments like lamorna's , "Walthamstow says... 3:44pm Sun 23 Jan 11 what on earth are you going on about? You take yourself far, far too seriously. Must be all the e-numbers you ruin your system with in your 99p boxes of chicken 'n' chips. If it's not too middle-class, eat some vegetables and get plenty of fresh air." Lamorna you should appreciate that all some people can sometimes actually afford are 99p boxes of chicken n chips..... AC1975
  • Score: 0

12:09am Wed 26 Jan 11

lamorna says...

Rubbish again AC1975 (your date of birth?).
Pasta doesn't cost 99p.
Rice? Apples? Oranges? Potatoes?
All less than 99p.....and not full of e-numbers and rubbish for your system.
My brother-in-law is a haematologist.
His mantra is 'you put crap in, you get crap out'.
I agree with him.
Time for education, AC.
Rubbish again AC1975 (your date of birth?). Pasta doesn't cost 99p. Rice? Apples? Oranges? Potatoes? All less than 99p.....and not full of e-numbers and rubbish for your system. My brother-in-law is a haematologist. His mantra is 'you put crap in, you get crap out'. I agree with him. Time for education, AC. lamorna
  • Score: 0

6:21am Wed 26 Jan 11

sluggeronwheels says...

We need this baby to take us to the 20th century and be modern and like dockland and stratford olympic
We need this baby to take us to the 20th century and be modern and like dockland and stratford olympic sluggeronwheels
  • Score: 0

6:21pm Thu 27 Jan 11

forlorn says...

Ugly tower blocks keep an area looking poor, deprived, crime-ridden and Labour-voting. There is no other council vision than this. Walthamstow Village is an irrelevant enclave for bourgeois IT and media types who can't afford to live anywhere better. Walthamstow's future is as a dumping ground for poor third-world immigrants, and 20-something East European migrant workers who just need a crashpad while they make their fast buck before clearing off home again. Until there is a viable voting alternative to Labour's cynical policy-making in Walthamstow the future looks pretty grim for those of us who live outside the Village.
Ugly tower blocks keep an area looking poor, deprived, crime-ridden and Labour-voting. There is no other council vision than this. Walthamstow Village is an irrelevant enclave for bourgeois IT and media types who can't afford to live anywhere better. Walthamstow's future is as a dumping ground for poor third-world immigrants, and 20-something East European migrant workers who just need a crashpad while they make their fast buck before clearing off home again. Until there is a viable voting alternative to Labour's cynical policy-making in Walthamstow the future looks pretty grim for those of us who live outside the Village. forlorn
  • Score: 0

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