It is certainly a difficult political environment for protecting open public spaces and it would be easy to become overwhelmed or despondent about the level of encroachment and development of our protected land in the capital.
However, we would like to share with you some of our campaign victories since we formed in 2012.
No.1 Leyton Marsh
After the 2012 debacle of the ‘temporary’ basketball courts, Leyton Marsh was suffering the semi-permanent effects of a botched restoration. Save Leyton Marsh continued our campaign, putting pressure on the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority to demand Leyton Marsh was put back as promised by the Olympic Delivery Authority.
Although, the reinstatement efforts were far from ideal, we made sure that something was done about the appalling drainage and that a new surface was laid on Sandy Path.
No. 2 Hackney Marshes
The sports pitches on Hackney Marshes were seriously damaged by the Radio 1 concert during the summer of 2012.
We successfully campaigned with local sports teams to prevent the use of Hackney Marshes for three private mega-events every summer which would have seen local residents fenced out of the area during the best time of the year for enjoying the outdoors.
3. North Marsh
We launched a petition to demand that the proposed pavilion on Hackney Marshes was situated on the site of the old building, at North Marsh, rather than being located on presently green space in order for the Council to accommodate a 68 space car park. Our petition got hundreds of signatures and we successfully took Hackney Council to a public inquiry where we represented ourselves for 4 days against a professional barrister.
No.4 East Marsh
Although as a result of the Planning Inquiry, the Inspector did not demand that the pavilion was re-designed in order to protect common land, she did find in favour of our arguments at East Marsh, where there was an unlawfully constructed car park. She ordered that it be removed.
We requested that the car park would be created into a biodiverse habitat and worked with Hackney Council and Hackney Marshes Users Group to achieve this. Works to create this habitat are currently taking place at the car park site on East Marsh.