THE four-year battle over the future of Walthamstow Stadium is set to come to a head within weeks.

It has emerged the council's planning committee is scheduled to hold a public meeting on May 8 to rule on planning permission for the housing scheme proposed by London and Quadrant (L&Q).

The housing association wants to build 294 homes, a nursery and leisure centre at the site but has faced opposition from residents and campaigners who want dog racing to return to the venue.

English Heritage and the Environment Agency have also expressed concerns over the proposal but L&Q says it is in dialogue with the organisations to address concerns.

The agenda for the May 8 meeting is not expected to be released for some weeks.

The news comes as the council on Tuesday decided to defer a decision on planning permission for a proposed bus depot on the stadium's former car park opposite the site.

Families in the area claim they were not been properly consulted and a petition against the scheme proposed by HCT Group was not included in a council report on the application..

Meanwhile campaigners from Save Our Stow (SOS) have released a letter from the council to L&Q obtained under the Freedom of Information act.

They say it proves that the scheme is not financially viable, a claim L&Q has always denied.

The letter from council officer David Scourfield, dated August 2011, notes that the proposed plans would be so costly to L&Q that it would probably not be able to afford a 'section 106' payment for local amenities and infrastructure from the scheme itself.

This would mean L&Q would have to pay the money from elsewhere in its budget.

A L&Q spokeswoman said there was not a problem with paying the grant.

She said: “Our proposals for the Walthamstow Stadium site, should they be approved, will provide contributions through section 106.

"We are currently working through these with the London Borough of Waltham Forest and the council will publish details in due course."

But SOS organiser Ricky Holloway called on the council to intervene.

"As L&Q cannot build and seemingly will not sell then a compulsory purchase order seems the only way forward," he said.

L&Q has previously refused to comment on claims from SOS that it will make a £26million loss from the development, but said it was confident of making returns on future investments.

A spokesman said: "The proposals, which have been submitted to Waltham Forest Council, will deliver a £50m iconic development and will preserve the heritage of the site."

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