Highams Park Forum
A group of local people all interested in the betterment of life in their area.

News (2010)

Following the planned closure of the Forum at the end of 2019 this website is now mothballed. It will not be updated further but remains as an interesting archive and can be browsed as normal. All Forum functions have transferred to the Highams Park Planning Group. Click here for details


23Nov: Forum on BBC re Tesco


News (2010)

For more recent news, click here: Current News
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You can also find more news by reading the latest minutes here: Minutes

23rd November 2010
Forum on BBC Inside Out programme re Tesco

Members of the Forum were interviewed last night (22nd Nov) on the BBC Inside Out programme. The programme was dealing with the impact of large Tesco developments around London. The proposed Highams Park scheme was featured.

An short extract from the programme (the section about Highams Park) has been posted on YouTube here: HP Tesco YouTube clip


20Nov: Community Councils replaced
(Photo: Sunrise over Highams Park)


20th November 2010
Community Councils to be replaced by Community Ward Forums

It has recently been announced that Community Councils (CCs) are to be no more. At the North Chingford CC on Monday (15th Nov) it was announced that this would be the last meeting. The other CCs will likewise be having their last meetings shortly.

LBWF set up the CCs a few years back. There are 6 in total to cover the borough, each covering a group of Wards. The CCs operate as open public meetings to debate local issues and to allocate a 10k budget per ward to local initiatives. Highams Park straddled the jurisdiction of 3 CCs.

In 2011, CCs will be replaced by Community Ward Forums (CWFs) and each will have a 10k budget. There will be potentially 20 CWFs, each organised by its ward councillors. The exact details are still being worked out but it is understood that some wards may hold joint meetings if it makes sense to do so.

Highams Park straddles 4 wards, namely: Hatch Lane, Larkswood, Hale End & Highams Park, and Chapel End. The Highams Park Forum will liaise with the councillors of these wards and contribute to the debate as to how CWFs should be best organised in Highams Park.

There is considerable scope for confusion in the future with the Highams Park Forum bearing a name similar to one of the potential CWFs. The use of the term "The Forum" will also become ambiguous. This is rather unfortunate.



14OCT: Walthamstow Stadium Survey


14th October 2010
Walthamstow Stadium Survey

A number of action groups have contacted the Forum to explain that they are working to have the Walthamstow Stadium Site in Chingford Road remain (at least in part) as a premier Greyhound Racing venue. In order to assess the strength of feeling amongst residents (for or against) they are asking residents to complete a quick survey form which can be found by clicking the link below.



03OCT: LBWF Planning Explorer introduced


3rd October 2010
LBWF Planning Explorer introduced

Our attention has been drawn to a new section of the LBWF website called "Planning Explorer". It gives a flexible way of finding planning applications (past and present) by various criteria and allows viewing the actual plans online (saving a trip to the planning office). Unfortunately, at the time of writing, this particular feature appears to be a little unreliable. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

The plans should be visible via the link at the bottom of each application which reads "Open the list of documents related to this application", but at the moment sometimes this gives an error message. When fully working, the service looks like a welcome step in the right direction. LBWF planning explorer can be found by clicking the link below:

LBWF Planning Explorer: planning.walthamforest.gov.uk/PlanningExplorer/home.aspx



16AUG: Historic plaques come home


16th August 2010
Historic plaques come home

In the 1970s, the British Xylonite factory in Highams Park (also known as Halex) was demolished. On the site had been a war memorial with two impressive plaques listing those killed in the two world wars. These were removed during the demolition and their whereabouts was a mystery.

Our friends at The Highams Park Society set about a piece of interesting detective work to find the plaques. The Society reports that not only has it found the plaques but they have now been returned to Highams Park and it has been agreed that they will be given a new home on permanent display in the Library. The Society has written up the story of the return of the plaques. You can read it here: Plaques come home



29JUL: Car Park development proposal
- Appeal result


29th July 2010
Larkshall Road Car Park proposed development - Result of appeal

This follows on from the item below (dated 15FEB10) regarding the two proposals to build on the Larkshall Rd Car Park. Both had been refused by LBWF planning committee and the applicant appealed against both decisions. The appeals were heard on 22nd and 23rd June at Waltham Forest Town hall. Those attending felt the inspector was very thorough in his approach and his report was published yesterday. It concludes by dismissing the appeal on the first application but allowing the appeal on the second. This means planning permission is effectively granted.

One resident who had been present at the hearings commented: "Certainly the first application was utterly dreadful. We can at least be thankful that the second application was much improved - less housing and a much preferable layout which includes a 4.4m nature corridor at the back of the gardens running along Coolgardie Avenue."

The Inspector's ruling can be read in full here: Inspectors Report (166KB)



27JUL: Footpaths & rights of way
- What's missing?


27th July 2010
Footpaths & rights of way - What's missing?

LBWF is currently in the process of updating its formal records of footpaths and rights of way in the borough. For historic reasons, existing records are incomplete.

David Boote (footpaths officer for WF Ramblers) is monitoring this work and has compiled a list of footpaths (some of which are on the council list and some are not). He asks anyone with an interest in the subject to review his list and email him with any items they think ought to be added.
David's existing list can be viewed here: Footpaths for review
David's email address is: david_boote@yahoo.com



27APR: Tesco "mini villages" - Highams Park NOT mentioned


27th April 2010
Tesco "mini villages" - Highams Park NOT mentioned

"The Times Online" reports of Tesco that: "The supermarket chain plans to develop four mini-villages in the South East", but the proposed Highams Park development is not mentioned. The Highams Park Forum's Vice Chair, Graham Reeve, writes:

We were very interested to see the Tesco proposals for four mini village sites in London. Tesco seem to have forgotten Highams Park in Waltham Forest, north east London, where after a long planning battle with local residents, Tesco were given planning permission for a mixed housing and large superstore development last year, subject to Tesco agreeing to provide affordable housing on the site. Perhaps they don't mention Highams Park, because the planning permission has not been issued, as Tesco are unwilling to provide the housing within a reasonable timescale. As usual, Tesco say one thing to attract publicity but act in the opposite way when it suits.
Graham Reeve, Vice Chair, Highams Park Forum

You can seen the Times article at the following link and in the comments section at the bottom you will find that they have included Graham's above comments.
Link: Times Tesco mini village story
[Update: Unfortunately, since posting this here, The Times has changed to a Pay site and you can only see a preview of the article unless you sign in]



29Mar: Tesco - LBWF letter to IDS


29th March 2010
Tesco - Letter from LBWF to Iain Duncan Smith MP

LBWF CEO Andrew Kilburn has written to Iain Duncan Smith MP (letter dated 22MAR10), responding to a number of questions about the proposed Tesco development. It explains the status of the negotiation of the section 106 agreement and clarifies the proposed routing of the Tesco delivery vehicles. Amongst other things, the section 106 document will set out monies to be given by the developer to LBWF to be used to help mitigate the effect of the development.

The full text of the letter is available from the following link: LBWF Letter 22MAR10 (433KB)



21FEB: IDS Tesco gathering


21st February 2010 (Updated 26th February 2010)
Iain Duncan Smith speaks to residents regarding Tesco development

On the afternoon of Friday 19th Feb, Chingford and Woodford Green MP, Iain Duncan Smith held a street meeting with interested constituents in Jubilee Avenue, near the Tesco development site. Some 40 local people were there to hear if anything could be done to stop or mitigate the development.

Concerns were expressed about the projected increase in traffic and the size of the development and could the Mayor of London stop the building. Said Iain Duncan Smith 'I have contacted Boris Johnson, and he was unable to reverse his decision, but I'll have another go.' He also agreed to contact both the Council and the Mayor to ensure that Tesco build the much needed housing at the same time as the store as this was an important reason why the Committee and the Mayor recommended approval.

A number of local people expressed their feelings about the manner in which the planning committee took their decision, weighing the need for local housing greater than the impact on Highams Park. Duncan Smith said he had approached the Waltham Forest Council Chief Executive and had been assured the decision had been taken properly.

Independently from this meeting, the Forum understands that Tesco have not yet signed the planning agreement (section 106) and that until they do, they do not formally have planning permission. The Forum have written to the Council to request an update on the current situation. The response was as follows:

**** Start Quote ****
As you are aware a section 106 agreement is required to be completed before planning permission can be issued.

The Council are still in discussions with both the Developers and the Primary Care Trust on the terms of that section 106 agreement. Until all the details of all the heads of terms have been negotiated and agreed, the Council cannot complete the section 106 agreement.

The agreement is quite complicated and therefore it is not unusual for such an agreement to take several months to settle. As you will appreciate, a draft agreement was only produced in December following the clearance of the application by the Mayor and the Government Office for London.

If the agreement cannot be agreed, then planning permission cannot be issued.

**** End Quote ****



15FEB: Car Park application - Update


15th February 2010
Larkshall Road Car Park proposed development - An update

There has been some activity regarding this proposed development over the past few weeks so we thought we'd post an update to remind readers of the current status. Those of you who have been following this story (see news entries below for 3rd Dec and 19th Nov) will know that planning application ref 2009/1170 was submitted by the applicant and rejected by the council. Since then, the applicant has appealed against that decision and has, at the same time, submitted a revised proposal for approval. The two actions are quite separate.

The new application (planning ref 2010/0050):
Demolition of existing buildings at 454 - 458 Larkshall Road and inclusion of part of the station car park to enable redevelopment of the site to provide 45 residential units comprising 33 flats (7 x 1 bed, 24 x 2 bed and 2 x 3 bed) and 12 houses (8 x 4 bed and 4 x 3 bed). Reprovision of office accommodation and provision of 3 retail units on the Larkshall Road frontage.

It appears that the applicant has reduced the number of units by 11, with fewer flats but with three more houses. Comments to LBWF planning dept need to be made by 21st February 2010.

The original application (planning ref 2009/1170):
The applicant is appealing against the council's decision to reject this first application. The letter informing residents of the appeal concludes:
If you wish to submit any further representations, you should write to The Planning Inspectorate, 3/16. Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol, Bs1 6PN. Please send 3 copies quoting appeal reference APP/U5930/A/10/2121342/NWF. Any comments you make will be made known to the appellant and the Council. The Planning Inspectorate will not acknowledge you letter unless you specifically ask them to.

Representations regarding the appeal must be received by 11th March 2010.



18JAN: Mystery rail link proposal


18th January 2010
Mystery over proposed rail link

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has published a draft document for consultation known as "The London Plan". An eagle eyed reader of this 282 page document noticed an interesting bullet point on page 166. It was in a section about proposed transport improvements, under the heading of "Further DLR extensions". The bullet point reads: "Stratford International to Walthamstow Central via Leytonstone". The colour coding of the entry puts it in the time category "post 2018". Some members of the Forum keep very up to date on transport proposals but this is not known to them and is therefore something of a mystery. We will endeavour to find out more.

The Forum is very familiar with a proposal known as "The Hall Farm Curve" which would link the Chingford to Liverpool Street line to Stratford via the addition of a short section of track just west of St James Street Station. This would connect the line to the existing Stratford bound line at that point. This route would not pass through Leytonstone and is not a DLR extension, so can't be what is referred to in The London Plan. Curiously "The Hall Farm Curve" is not mentioned in The London Plan so perhaps there is some confusion. We will investigate.

The full name of the document is:
The London Plan
Spatial Development Strategy for Greater London
October 2009
(Consultation draft replacement plan)




For older news, click here: News in 2009
For news archive, click here: News archive

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