Saturday, 31 March 2012

Ship Aground Heritage Vandalism Update

In February, we did a posting (heritage-vandalism update) advising that Hackney had received a planning application for the Ship Aground on Lea Bridge Road which was deemed invalid. The applicants have updated the application and Hackney have deemed it valid and it is now on the planning portal. It's in two parts: the first is 2012/0380 which is for the partial demolition of the building. The second part: 2012/0325
is for the erection of a part single storey and part two storey rear extensions and roof extension in connection with the use of the building as a place of worship and community centre. The closing date for comments on the application is 26 April 2012. 

Council officers have confirmed (irrespective of the new planning application), the owners of the building will be served a Section 215 enforcement notice for the unauthorised and without prior approval partial demolition of this Building of Townscape Merit within Lea Bridge Conservation Area. We will publish a copy of the notice once it has been served. The notice seems as if if will be extensive and will set a time limit for the owners of the building to rectify the damage. However, if the new planning application is successful, it will fall by the wayside.

We will be submitting our objections to the planning application that, by proposing to more than double the size of the building, is disproportionate and is neither sensitive to the building itself or its historical setting.

Below are some of the images from of the proposal from the planning application which show how little of the building will be left if this planning application goes through: just three side walls.

Friday, 30 March 2012

creating millfields' meadows

Great to find Hackney Parks Dept sowing a natural wildflower meadow in North Millfields. This approach is so much better than cris-crossing the park with new crunchy gravel paths that are useless to pedestrians, cyclists and people with mobility difficulties

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

essex wharf

Update (April): looks like construction hasn't yet started and that Network Rail has hired the site for use by their contractors Balfour Beatty for signalling work over several weekends. not sure it needs to be lit up like a football pitch - hardly friendly to bats or nesting birds.

 Looks like work has now commenced on Essex Wharf development.

Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA) were granted leave to bring a claim for Judicial Review and voted to do so. However, before the matter came to Court for judgment, the LVRPA appears to have done a deal with LB of Waltham Forest which resulted in the litigation being withdrawn (leaving each side to pay their own costs). So far, LVRPA have been less than forthcoming about the details of the 'arrangement'.

river clean up

on saturday, the thames 21 'love the lea' folk undertook a lea cleaning up exercise near the king's head bridge.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Different couples. Same love

‘We should be utterly, completely and absolutely clear that a civil partnership is not a marriage, cannot be a marriage, never will be a marriage and should be treated entirely separately from marriage.’ Lord Tebbit, 2010 

If you disagree with Lord Tebbit and believe civil marriage should be available to same-sex couples on the same basis as heterosexual marriage,  please make your voice heard by responding  to the Home Office equal civil marriage consultation: Home Office.  Closing date is 14 June. For more info, visit Stonewall website.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

more housing planned for north millfields

The Latham’s Yard development includes a small restaurant / café which the planners required to compensate for the loss of the much loved King's Head public house, which was then demolished. The café never opened and remains boarded up.

The developer, Taylor Wimpey, now wants to replace the café with more flats and has applied for planning permission from Hackney. The planning application can be found at: Planning Appl'n 2012/0628

We think the Council should refuse the application.

As a point of principle, we think that when developers are asked to provide some degree of mixed use to bring some vitality to acres of housing they should always be required to provide it; of else developers will see that they can get away with not providing any vitality, such as at Essex Wharf.

If a restaurant /café is not viable, there is surely a wide range of worthwhile community uses which the space could be put to.

Maybe we should come up with our own ideas and ask businesses / community enterprises to get involved.

  •  Could is be a bicycle repair shop with a little coffee bar attached like in Broadway Market?
  • Could it be the ‘village hall’?
  • Could it be a nursery, or a one o’clock club?
  • Could it be changing facilities and leave more space for a cafe at the Casimir Road entrance?

We do hope local community groups, including Millfields Users Group, see this as an issue which effects us all. If there is only room for one café in the area, and people think that is elsewhere in the park, that shouldn’t mean giving up valuable community space that’s already built and ready to occupy.

what's happening on Essex wharf?

looks like builders were on the Essex Wharf site during the week doing what looked like soil testing. let's hope the developers aren't pressing ahead with their scheme ahead of the judicial review (we understand lea valley federation are trying to get an update on this from the lee valley regional park authority.