It is ten years ago this week since the now Prime Minister was making the headlines in the Guardian Series by making this plea over the future of Walthamstow Stadium.

Boris Johnson has called on the owner of Walthamstow Stadium to listen to the wishes of local people, while praising the ‘rich tradition’ of dog racing.

In a statement which is likely to put further pressure on London & Quadrant (L&Q), the Mayor of London laments the loss of ‘iconic stadia’ and urges owners of remaining venues to ‘preserve them in active use’.

The statement comes as L&Q is preparing to put its latest plans for a housing scheme on the Chingford Road site on public show.

The plans include up to 320 homes in blocks up to ten storeys high and options for leisure provision, including a pub, a bowling facility and multi-purpose community centre.

The proposal also includes landscaping, green spaces and improving the area around the river Ching.

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Mr Johnson said: "London has a rich tradition of dog racing and it is lamentable that some of its iconic stadia have suffered decline and closure in recent years.

"I urge Londoners to support this increasingly endangered pursuit and the owners of the remaining stadiums to preserve these in active use for dog racing for the benefit of Londoners.

“I urge the owners of Walthamstow Stadium to take full consideration of the needs and wishes of local people with regard to the future of this sporting venue."

Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy has criticised L&Q for behaving like a property speculator by leaving the site empty for two years.

Miss Creasy and Chingford MP Iain Duncan Smith have called on the housing association to negotiate with Bob Morton, a millionaire businessman who has offered to buy the venue and re-introduce racing.

In a joint statement, they said: "We welcome this breakthrough in trying to progress the future of Walthamstow Stadium.

“Boris joins us in wanting to see this site being brought back into use for the benefit of the local economy and the local community and being concerned at the antics of the housing developer who currently owns it.

“We hope L&Q get the message loud and clear that they need to start talking seriously to developers like Mr Morton to see if a deal can be done to restore the track and bring housing to the area - the patience of the people of Walthamstow and Chingford will not stand for anything less."

L&Q said it has not heard from Mr Morton since August, despite offering further talks.

Steve Yianni, L&Q group director, said: "Our only interest now is in the future economic regeneration and prosperity of Walthamstow and in providing much needed homes for some of the 14,000 people currently on the waiting list in the borough.

"We will reveal our designs next week as part of our ongoing consultation with residents and we believe that people will be pleased with the offer of family homes, public and private gardens, allotments and other community and leisure facilities all of which are set in the context of the iconic site."