After a really successful community meeting at the Waterworks on 16th September, we are delighted to announce our vision for the Lea Bridge Waterworks site (formerly the Thames Water Depot): a place protected from development and opened up to public access, re-imagined as a place for wild swimming and community horticulture, with the vital habitat along the river designated as a nature reserve and connected to the neighbouring Middlesex Filter Beds Nature Reserve, with other parts of the site left to ‘re-wild’.
To help us try and achieve this vision, the first step is to respond to the Waltham Forest Local Plan:
- Write to firstname.lastname@example.org by 30 September 2019 giving your name and address. If you are writing from outside the borough please underline that MOL and Green Belt are important for neighbouring boroughs and all of London.
- A suggested response short response is set out below. You can of course adapt this or make your own suggestions for the site. If you would like to know more, the consultation document can be found here. A map of the borough’s land protections is here.
Response to Waltham Forest Local Plan Consultation
The Lea Bridge Waterworks (currently Thames Water Depot) should categorically not be considered for development as it is a critical part of the wider area of Metropolitan Open Land and the Lea Valley Regional Park and any development outside of the existing footprint would seriously impact on its permanence and openness.
This site should be protected from development and opened up to public access, re-imagined as a place for wild swimming and community horticulture, with the vital habitat along the river designated as a nature reserve and connected to the neighbouring Middlesex Filter Beds Nature Reserve and other parts of the site left to ‘re-wild’.
- The existing concrete slab could easily be removed in some areas and to reveal the buried filter beds below
- A swimming / pond area should be created from a section of the old filter bed, reimagined as a place for wild swimming
- The site should be re-wilded, allowing nature to reclaim the built environment naturally in some places and replanting and landscaping in others
- The site should be a space for people to learn how to live harmoniously with nature, perhaps through small-scale good growing or sustainable foraging or a social enterprise or community garden centre like Growing Concerns in Tower Hamlets or Living Under One Sun sites in Haringey
- It should be a place to showcase the area’s industrial heritage by retaining and enhancing the site’s historic buildings
- It is a valuable part of the green lung, linking the Middlesex Filter Beds and the Essex Filter Beds and should be reconnected to the surrounding sites. Retaining an area of public hard landscaping would complement the surrounding area.