Saturday, 23 June 2012

Essex Wharf Development Noise Disturbances

We have been copied into a local resident's letter of complaint to Waltham Forest about the development on Essex Wharf, Lea Bridge Road and the leasing of the site to Network Rail/Balfour Beatty. An extract from the letter is copied below. 

"The site has been essentially turned into a 24-hour car park and works depot for the last couple of months, which I understand to be beyond the terms of the planning agreement.

On a weekly basis there are workmen loading trucks and vans late into the night/early morning - with the most recent being 19/6/2012 when railway sleepers (or similar large metal objects) were being loaded onto a flatbed truck between 2 and 3am with the aid of a small crane. This created a very loud disturbance which I could hear in my flat opposite through the double glazing with all windows firmly shut. This of course means that all the residents at the river end of Southwold Road would have been equally affected by this frankly unacceptable disturbance, and I also imagine that it would have also have affected the residents on the south side of Lea Bridge Road too.

As I have mentioned, this is not the first time - at least once a week there is a similar noise disturbance of metal objects being thrown on to the back of a truck in the early hours of the morning. This is compounded by the all-night floodlighting and the occasional use of generators after dark to create a disturbance that is not suitable for such a dense residential area by any stretch of the imagination. I have also witnessed on two occasions workmen openly urinating on site in broad daylight despite there being Portaloos installed - not the impression I imagine Waltham Forest wishes to be projecting during the Olympic period in plain view from the new river boats, the towpath, or to the visiting American athletes to the basketball training facility. 

My recommendations are: no work, loading, lights (other than those for health and safety reasons), or generators on the Essex Wharf site between the hours of 8PM and 8AM. I would also suggest that the contractors are made fully aware of their responsibilities to the local residents on what is a very open and exposed site. Essentially many of the guidelines that the Considerate Construction Scheme outline - which I might also suggest adherence to becomes a compulsory caveat in the successful granting of planning permission for construction projects in Waltham Forest, regardless of their proximity to existing residential properties. 

I sincerely hope this is not indicative of what we, the residents of Millfields and the surrounding area are to expect for the continuing work on the site for the duration of Balfour Beatty's residency and the further building works for the already controversial residential development.

I urge you to take action on this matter to ensure that it does not continue, either for the remaining Balfour Beatty encampment or for the future works on the site."

Monday, 18 June 2012

midsummer light's dream

It was back in November last year that we did a posting on how we were trying to get Taylor Wimpey to fix the lighting for the Friendship Tree sculpture (designed by children of Southwold Primary School, with  support from the Free Form Trust). 
Initially, Taylor Wimpey agreed it would be fixed in the new year. However, it reneged on that promise and (following extensive email ping-pong over the last few months) we complained to Hackney Council that it was a breach of the planning conditions for Latham's Yard development.

It's really good news that Taylor Wimpey have now, finally, fixed the problem and the tree is lit for the first time. 

Hopefully the graffiti sprayed on it (we've reported this to the managing agents RMG) will be removed in the coming days.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Historic lea bridge schoolhouse open this weekend

It's really great news that the old schoolhouse on the Lea Bridge riverside is open this weekend. Please do try to make it along and lend your support! Who knows when we'll have another opportunity to look inside this important building at the heart of the lea bridge riverside's heritage.

We hope the heritage funding application to secure the future of the school house will be successful, and local children are given the opportunity to learn more about the unique this historic industrial development area.

If you make it along  - you'll have an opportunity to do a heritage walk around the local area (which includes some of the Lea Bridge Waterworks, currently subject to a statutory listing request on the grounds of national historic and architectural merit).

In addition  to the activities listed in the poster, you'll also be able to :
  • see the sorry state of another heritage asset - the Ship Aground public house next door - currently the subject to a planning application which will see most of the building demolished. We'll be doing an update on this over the next few days on why this building must be saved.
  • poke your nose through the window of the Princess of Wales where work is nearing completion (opening end of the month) and furniture and fittings are being put in place. Has it been sensitively updated or has it lost its character? You decide.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Summer in a bottle

We were enjoying a walk around walthamstow marshes the other day where the elderfowers are currently out in force. It gave us the idea to have our first bash at making some elderflower champagne. Having collected some flower heads, we headed home to google the following recipe and set to work.   

  •   4 litres hot water;
  •   cold water to top up;
  •   700g sugar;
  •   Juice and zest of four lemons;
  •   2 tablespoons white wine vinegar; and
  •   About 15 elderflower heads, in full bloom  - if possible picked on a sunny day (not possible this weekend!)

1. Put the hot water and sugar into a large container and stir until the sugar dissolves, then top up with cold water so you have 6 litres of liquid in total.
2. Add the lemon juice and zest, the vinegar and the flower heads and stir gently.
3. Cover with clean muslin and leave to ferment in a cool, airy place for a couple of days. Take a look at the brew at this point, it should be going a little bit foamy as it starts to ferment from the natural yeasts found in the flowers. If it isn't you may need to add a pinch of yeast.
4. Leave the mixture to ferment, again covered with muslin, for a further four days. Strain the liquid through a sieve lined with muslin and decant into sterilised strong glass bottles with champagne stoppers or Grolsch-style stoppers, or sterilized screw-top plastic bottles (a good deal of pressure can build up inside as the fermenting brew produces carbon dioxide, so strong bottles and seals are essential)
5. Seal and leave to ferment in the bottles for at least a week before serving, chilled. The champagne should keep in the bottles for several months. Store in a cool, dry place. 

Easy peasy. We'll let you know how it turns out!

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Along from Ferry Lane

There's an excellent exhibition of paintings of the River Lee by Emily Ault on at:

Bruce Castle Museum 
Lordship Lane, Tottenham, N17 8NU

'Along from Ferry Lane' runs until the 24th June. 

We also recommend the nearby café:

40 Lordship Lane,  N17

for excellent coffee and cakes.