Campaigners fighting plans for new tower blocks put pressure on developers to protest “vandalism against the local people.”

Members of campaign group, Save Our Square E17, walked to a developers’ annual general meeting in Walthamstow yesterday.

The tower blocks, which will be built by Capital and Regional, form part of Waltham Forest’s Local Plan and are set to include 30 per cent affordable housing.

Campaigners protested outside the company’s meeting yesterday and handed a letter to shareholders, demanding the Capital and Regional withdraw from their role in the plans.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Save Our Square handed flyers and a letter to shareholders.

The letter said: “Save Our Square E17 and masses of local supporters are pledged to carry on with active opposition.

“We will do all we can to stop these plans.

“Pleasurable as it might be, we would prefer not to hear ourselves say ‘we told you so’ in three or four years’ time.”

The letter highlighted the group’s concerns about falling house prices, fears of the imminent “death of the high street” and warned that Capital and Regional’s involvement would turn out to be a “reckless investment.”

Nancy Taaffe, spokesman for Save Our Square E17, said: “The protest was organised to meet shareholders in person. Previous attempts to meet with representatives have been rejected.

“We went to prevent any whitewash of what is happening in Walthamstow being presented to shareholders and we can confidently say that no such silent report was allowed to be submitted.

“We held up posters, spoke to shareholders as they arrived and gave them another side of the story that we anticipated they may be given inside the AGM.”

Protestors explained their opposition to “the land grab” of public space to shareholders.

They also voiced their opposition to the removal of trees, calling it “an act of vandalism against local people.”

Walthamstow protesters were joined by a similar group of Luton Town Football club supporters, who were objecting to the “disproportionate  power that Capital and Regional wield in [their] town.”

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Protesters walked together to the Capital and Regional annual general meeting.

Save Our Square E17 are holding a rally outside Waltham Forest Town Hall on May 24 to lobby the new council. They have also arranged a boycott of Walthamstow The Mall on 23rd June.

A spokesman for Capital and Regional said: “Our redevelopment plans will provide a significant economic boost to Walthamstow, bringing an additional £25 million annually in retail spend and the creation of 350 permanent jobs, and an additional 500 during the construction works.

“They involve a [circa] £200 million private investment in to the town centre that will provide an expanded retail offer, up to 500 new homes including affordable housing, and an enhanced town square with improved facilities.

“Our proposals, for which the borough resolved to grant consent in December 2017, were developed following an extensive consultation process with the local community. We will continue to work with local stakeholders to bring our plans to life and look forward to realising the many benefits they will bring to the local community.”