Leyton Marsh being considered for new ice rink

The Lea Valley Ice Rink

The Lea Valley Ice Rink

First published in Waltham Forest East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

Campaigners have expressed horror at news that a new ice rink centre could be built in a green space area which was controversially dug up for a temporary sports hall for the Olympics.

It has emerged that Leyton Marsh is being considered as a possible site for a potential new sports venue by landowners The Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA).

There is already an ice rink at the edge of the site which would be demolished and replaced by a modernised facility if the location was chosen.

Campaigners believe the new structure would be much bigger and therefore would encroach on the marsh land.

The LVRPA says no decision will be made without a public consultation and said a number of sites for the proposed building were being looked at.

The land was controversially closed off to the public and used for a temporary basketball training venue during the Olympics in 2012.

Waltham Forest Council granted planning permission on the condition the site would be restored to its original condition by October 15, but the deadline was missed and campaigners say the marsh was irreparably damaged by the works.

The ice rink news was revealed in a letter by LVRPA chief executive Shaun Dawson to a councillor in Hackney.

The authority has used its Twitter account to downplay the significance of his comments.

It said: "No plans 2do anything re LV Ice Centre – just research looking at options for future as we regularly do with all our venues".

The letter from Mr Dawson said: "The existing site on the Lea Bridge is being looked at as part of this exercise [of researching potential sites].
 

"We are of course mindful of the value of the Leyton Marsh as public open space and of the local sensibilities around any developments in the area and how they might impact on the marsh.

"If we do decide to seriously consider the existing ice centre site for a new ice centre we will put in place a community engagement process at the very beginning."

But the Save Leyton Marsh campaign has described the letter as "disturbing" and "worrying".

It said in a statement: "The basketball court development only received planning permission on the basis that the facility was 'temporary', that the Olympics were 'special circumstances' and that the marsh would be 'restored to its original condition'.

"Now the marsh has been damaged, there are no special circumstances of 'national interest' such as the Olympics and the development of an ice centre would be permanent.

"However, as we warned, the planning permission given for the basketball courts changed the nature of the land from ‘playing fields’ to ‘suitable for purposes of assembly and leisure’, thus making future development easier."

Mr Dawson said in a statement: “The LV Ice Centre is a highly successful and popular facility attracting nearly 300,000 visitors a year, but it is 28 years old and the Authority needs to look at options for the future.

"The Authority is currently going through a process of researching and developing various options.

“We are mindful of the value of Leyton Marsh as a popular public open space and Lee Valley Ice Centre’s position as a popular sporting and community venue.

"Once the options have been developed there will be extensive consultation and engagement with the Ice Centre users and the local community.

"The initial research stage will be completed by April.”

Comments (13)

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12:27pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Sam Hain says...

Insensitive to say the least! As regular readers will know, I was fairly sanguine about the basketball training venue as it was a temprary facility which was, as promised, duly removed after the Olympics. To even consider building on it again, especially permanently, is an insult. Waltham Forest's rep on the LVRPA is Cllr Bob Sullivan (Lib Dem). As I understand one of the leading Leyton Marsh campaigners is herself an active Lib Dem perhaps she will have a quiet word with Cllr Sullivan. For anyone else wishing to bend the good Councillor's ear his email address is: cllr.bob.sullivan@wa
lthamforest.gov.uk
Insensitive to say the least! As regular readers will know, I was fairly sanguine about the basketball training venue as it was a temprary facility which was, as promised, duly removed after the Olympics. To even consider building on it again, especially permanently, is an insult. Waltham Forest's rep on the LVRPA is Cllr Bob Sullivan (Lib Dem). As I understand one of the leading Leyton Marsh campaigners is herself an active Lib Dem perhaps she will have a quiet word with Cllr Sullivan. For anyone else wishing to bend the good Councillor's ear his email address is: cllr.bob.sullivan@wa lthamforest.gov.uk Sam Hain
  • Score: 0

1:02pm Fri 11 Jan 13

bakers arms says...

I'm totally confused by this story because in the quote from the letter he says they are looking at the "existing site". That presumably doesn't include the marsh, which is off-site. There's no mention in his quote of them expanding onto the marsh. The only evidence of that appears to be that the campaigners "believe" it would encroach.
I'm totally confused by this story because in the quote from the letter he says they are looking at the "existing site". That presumably doesn't include the marsh, which is off-site. There's no mention in his quote of them expanding onto the marsh. The only evidence of that appears to be that the campaigners "believe" it would encroach. bakers arms
  • Score: 0

8:25pm Fri 11 Jan 13

HottRedMan says...

I cannot see any problem with this, as it is their land and at the end of the day, the current ice rink site may end up being just plain grass after.
I could have understood if they said they were building an additional building and the icce rink building remains in place.
I cannot see any problem with this, as it is their land and at the end of the day, the current ice rink site may end up being just plain grass after. I could have understood if they said they were building an additional building and the icce rink building remains in place. HottRedMan
  • Score: 0

9:26pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Techno3 says...

The existing ice centre is an eyesore which should never have been built there. Tear it down and build one someone else. (The arcade site would have been a good idea, but failing that there is plenty of land in front of Walthamstow Town Hall they could use). Return the land to being an open, unbuilt upon green space.
The existing ice centre is an eyesore which should never have been built there. Tear it down and build one someone else. (The arcade site would have been a good idea, but failing that there is plenty of land in front of Walthamstow Town Hall they could use). Return the land to being an open, unbuilt upon green space. Techno3
  • Score: 0

1:10am Sat 12 Jan 13

bob_dobbs says...

"Mr Dawson said in a statement: “The LV Ice Centre is a highly successful and popular facility attracting nearly 300,000 visitors a year, but it is 28 years old and the Authority needs to look at options for the future."

But the Hackney Gazette reported this week that the LVRPA's annual report and accounts say that the ice center made a loss of £473,000 in the last financial year. Doesn't sound like a roaring success to me...
"Mr Dawson said in a statement: “The LV Ice Centre is a highly successful and popular facility attracting nearly 300,000 visitors a year, but it is 28 years old and the Authority needs to look at options for the future." But the Hackney Gazette reported this week that the LVRPA's annual report and accounts say that the ice center made a loss of £473,000 in the last financial year. Doesn't sound like a roaring success to me... bob_dobbs
  • Score: 0

2:37am Sat 12 Jan 13

westside_o says...

Knock down the old one and build a new one there if you need a bigger venue.
Surely the transport links are much better where presently situated !
Knock down the old one and build a new one there if you need a bigger venue. Surely the transport links are much better where presently situated ! westside_o
  • Score: 0

12:53pm Sat 12 Jan 13

hatemordor says...

So Westside_o whilst the present ice centre makes a loss, you are advocating building an even bigger centre on the bottle-neck Lea Bridge Road, thus encroaching onto green land further and possibly causing further traffic problems?

Respect to Sam Hain for his new position.

LVRPA would save money and create a lot of goodwill by demolishing the loss-making ice centre and making the marshes fully wild again. Nature provides plentifully if you leave her to it!
So Westside_o whilst the present ice centre makes a loss, you are advocating building an even bigger centre on the bottle-neck Lea Bridge Road, thus encroaching onto green land further and possibly causing further traffic problems? Respect to Sam Hain for his new position. LVRPA would save money and create a lot of goodwill by demolishing the loss-making ice centre and making the marshes fully wild again. Nature provides plentifully if you leave her to it! hatemordor
  • Score: 0

8:11pm Sun 13 Jan 13

bishbosh says...

Temporary becomes permanent...leisure becomes commercial..commerci
al becomes development....We all see the way this is going. I am all for WF utilising the vacant land surrounding the town hall for the benefit of the community
and the empty space within.
Temporary becomes permanent...leisure becomes commercial..commerci al becomes development....We all see the way this is going. I am all for WF utilising the vacant land surrounding the town hall for the benefit of the community and the empty space within. bishbosh
  • Score: 0

11:05pm Sun 13 Jan 13

mdj says...

I believe that Sam Hain's position has been consistent on this, merely more trusting of official promises than most of us have learned the hard way to regard as wise!
In the past campaigners for the Marsh have claimed to have seen planning documents showing hotels standing on the land in front of the present Ice Centre: can anyone comment? Is the LVPA a trustworthy custodian of this protected open space?
If Mr Dawson is calling the Centre successful while it's losing £1.50 per visitor, he has some explaining to do. What budget is making good the loss?
I believe that Sam Hain's position has been consistent on this, merely more trusting of official promises than most of us have learned the hard way to regard as wise! In the past campaigners for the Marsh have claimed to have seen planning documents showing hotels standing on the land in front of the present Ice Centre: can anyone comment? Is the LVPA a trustworthy custodian of this protected open space? If Mr Dawson is calling the Centre successful while it's losing £1.50 per visitor, he has some explaining to do. What budget is making good the loss? mdj
  • Score: 0

6:59pm Mon 14 Jan 13

babesy says...

It honestly sounds like some people just like to protest against anything!! The ice rink offers a rare opportunity to fill freetime without having to travel to central london or out of the borough (for example- the likes of westfield if I want to go to the cinema? no thanks...) I think the protesters would have more of a leg to stand on if they actually cared more about the marshes at times when they're not protesting about something; get out there and help to keep it clean of litter etc... The rink is in a convenient place and are always busy, its great to see kids doing something constructive and not lurking on street corners, expand it I say.
It honestly sounds like some people just like to protest against anything!! The ice rink offers a rare opportunity to fill freetime without having to travel to central london or out of the borough (for example- the likes of westfield if I want to go to the cinema? no thanks...) I think the protesters would have more of a leg to stand on if they actually cared more about the marshes at times when they're not protesting about something; get out there and help to keep it clean of litter etc... The rink is in a convenient place and are always busy, its great to see kids doing something constructive and not lurking on street corners, expand it I say. babesy
  • Score: 0

7:05pm Mon 14 Jan 13

babesy says...

Also has anyone checked with Lee Valley if the centre is actually running at a loss, instead of just taking a local newspapers word for it?
Also has anyone checked with Lee Valley if the centre is actually running at a loss, instead of just taking a local newspapers word for it? babesy
  • Score: 0

2:43pm Tue 15 Jan 13

Isaythat says...

babesy wrote:
It honestly sounds like some people just like to protest against anything!! The ice rink offers a rare opportunity to fill freetime without having to travel to central london or out of the borough (for example- the likes of westfield if I want to go to the cinema? no thanks...) I think the protesters would have more of a leg to stand on if they actually cared more about the marshes at times when they're not protesting about something; get out there and help to keep it clean of litter etc... The rink is in a convenient place and are always busy, its great to see kids doing something constructive and not lurking on street corners, expand it I say.
I agree with you. I sometimes find it quite depressing reading some of these posts. All regeneration is a good thing in principal, but no-one can ever be sure it will succeed. They said Westfield would fall flat after the Olympics - how wrong they were!
[quote][p][bold]babesy[/bold] wrote: It honestly sounds like some people just like to protest against anything!! The ice rink offers a rare opportunity to fill freetime without having to travel to central london or out of the borough (for example- the likes of westfield if I want to go to the cinema? no thanks...) I think the protesters would have more of a leg to stand on if they actually cared more about the marshes at times when they're not protesting about something; get out there and help to keep it clean of litter etc... The rink is in a convenient place and are always busy, its great to see kids doing something constructive and not lurking on street corners, expand it I say.[/p][/quote]I agree with you. I sometimes find it quite depressing reading some of these posts. All regeneration is a good thing in principal, but no-one can ever be sure it will succeed. They said Westfield would fall flat after the Olympics - how wrong they were! Isaythat
  • Score: 0

3:34pm Wed 16 Jan 13

mdj says...

babesy, it's all online if you look:
LVRPA accounts 2011-12 p52, note 39 shows an operating loss of £473k for the Ice Centre, £285k for the Riding Centre, £173k for the Waterworks Centre, and a stonking £2 million for the White Water Centre. In fact, not one of the nine sports and recreational amenities listed shows a trading profit.

Subject for an article itself, maybe?
babesy, it's all online if you look: LVRPA accounts 2011-12 p52, note 39 shows an operating loss of £473k for the Ice Centre, £285k for the Riding Centre, £173k for the Waterworks Centre, and a stonking £2 million for the White Water Centre. In fact, not one of the nine sports and recreational amenities listed shows a trading profit. Subject for an article itself, maybe? mdj
  • Score: 0

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