We note that the reinstatement activities have so far failed to restore Porters Field Meadow on Leyton Marsh back to the pristine condition stipulated by WF Planning Committee councillors in February 2012. We know that the main causal factors have been the methods of construction and reinstatement, and not the weather.
We note that other areas of London, specifically some Royal Parks, although used extensively as Olympic venues, were not subject to construction methods that involved deep excavation and the laying of foundations, and are now not suffering from failures to reinstate.
We demand that:
- LVRPA should account for why it allowed an excavation method to be contemplated on this Metropolitan Open Land.
- LVRPA should formally notify LB Waltham Forest Planning Department that the reinstatement remains incomplete and this should be made public.
- LVRPA should hire independent consultants to examine in detail the factors involved in the water-logging, and to recommend solutions – the outcomes of which should be made public.
- LVRPA should obtain and release, from the ODA and its contractors: evidence of what seed types were sown and when, where and in what quantities; the original specification of the turf; the fully updated ‘snagging list’.
- LVRPA should obtain and release, from the ODA and its contractors: the details of what seed types were sown and when; the original specification of the turf; the fully updated ‘snagging list’.
- LVRPA should confirm that the ODA is being held financially responsible for completing the reinstatement as per the contract.
- LVRPA should work with Save Lea Marshes and experts from environmental organisations to identify land maintenance, mowing regimes etc to ensure that Leyton Marsh regains its rough and wild nature.
Save Lea Marshes supporters and members of the public attended four site visits September – October 2012, three User Forums over the last twelve months, and have made deputations to the LVRPA Authority in December 2012 and January 2013. Key information that was promised at these meetings is still outstanding.
Shaun Dawson stated on 24th January 2013 that the ongoing problems with reinstatement arise from the deeper excavation works that were not made clear at the beginning. However LB Waltham Forest continues to maintain that the reinstatement has been completed according to its planning conditions.
Charlie Charman and Abigail Woodman met with Dan Buck and Martin Page in August last year, in attempt to open channels of communication. At that meeting we asked for a statement from LVRPA that Leyton Marsh would remain green open space. The resulting wording, which was sent to us for approval, wasn’t unequivocal enough for SLM but we felt that it was better than nothing. We are, however, still waiting for the signed statement as promised despite a number of emails chasing various members of the LVRPA.
Shaun Dawson wrote to Cllr Rathbone to say that items had been agreed at the Walthamstow Marshes User Forum which those of us present know were not agreed. Although you withdrew that, your Chairman Derrick Ashley has since written to Cllr Masood Ahmad chair of Lea Bridge Community Ward Forum saying that residents agreed the Reinstatement Plan, which they did not. You persist in stating that the foundations of the basketball courts have been removed, when they have not. And, despite consistent confirmation that the money ring-fenced for Leyton Marsh doesn’t have to be spent within a time limit we are now hearing that you desire to spend it within 18 months. Yet Martin Page told us, at the last Walthamstow Marshes User Forum, that the LVRPA is preparing proposals on how to better communicate with local people.
We therefore demand that:
- The signed statement about Leyton Marsh remaining as an open green space is issued publicly.
- Misrepresentations about the residents’ disagreements with the Reinstatement Plan should cease.
- A clear plan for the spending of the Leyton Marsh ring-fenced money should be shared with us.
- You should ask us and local people how we would like to be communicated with rather than imposing something on us, and you should share a draft timetable for implementing plans.
PROPOSED ICE CENTRE DEVELOPMENT/ REDEVELOPMENT
Save Lea Marshes sees the current Ice Centre as an aberration, an unsightly building and car park, protruding starkly in an otherwise open green space and unshielded (as once promised) by trees. We are appalled to learn that it is a high carbon emitter and user of fuel and water, and feel that it is disgraceful that such a facility has a place in the twenty-first century Lee Valley Park. We are not against the sport and leisure activities of skating, but we are aware that there are several greener ways of providing this, and we support the speedy closure of the Lea Bridge Road centre.
The existence of the Ice Centre was a factor in enabling the Essex Wharf residential development to be given planning permission on appeal.
We therefore demand that:
- The Ice Centre should be dismantled and removed as soon as possible, and its footprint including that of the car park and grounds, should be restored to publicly accessible green open space as part of Leyton Marsh, with pleasant views and public access into the Park.
- The current Ice Centre site on Lea Bridge Road, and any other part of Leyton Marsh, should be taken off any list for future development including that of any new ice centre.
FEASIBILITY STUDY FOR PROPOSED ICE CENTRE DEVELOPMENT
14. We request the documents relating to the scope, parameters and required output of the feasibility study. We are keen to know the following:
a) What are the specifications for the ice centre feasibility study in terms of:
- environmental standards including fuel economy, water re-use, transport links, fewer car-borne visitors, reduction of carbon emissions
- national , regional or local participation/ demand – how would this be measured
- appearance and ‘fit’ within the Park surroundings
- a stand-alone construction only, or will you consider a centre jointly located with compatible venues eg sports complex sharing facilities/utilities
- ice skating-only function or multi-purpose
- minimal option of artificial-ice rink(s) at popular locations or temporary sites
b) What financial criteria will the feasibility study require:
- new ice centre to cover capital costs in x years
- revenue to break even with running costs over x years
- ice centre to be income-generating from start
- external partner funding
c) How many Lee Valley or other sites are being included in the feasibility study and what are they.
d) If, against much public opinion, the current site is being included in the feasibility study what size and shape of footprint is being used as baseline – ie current ice rink + car park + surrounding outhouses/ yards + currently unoccupied land to south of centre bordering Lea Bridge Road?