Despite repeated requests from BAG and several local residents to be kept informed of exactly when the planning application would be published, the material went live online without informing any of those directly affected. According to LBWF’s own policy on the planning consultation process, these proposals should be publicised to invite comments from the local community:
“After the planning application has been made, the local planning authority will post notices nearby and write letters inviting comments to those living closest to the proposed development and relevant stakeholders and interest groups.”
At the time of publication, BAG are not aware that any notice of the planning application has been made, but assume that letters are in the post to local residents!
The online planning application for Willowfield, as yet, does not include the actual plans for the school. The only way to see these is to visit Sycamore House at Waltham Forest Town Hall between Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm. So in the meantime, BAG members visited the Town Hall to view the plans and have collated the most relevant info for residents in this area, and urge everyone to provide their feedback on this planning application (reference 2013/0656):
- Plans still include a school access point at the end of Hawarden Road, on the bend with Edward Road – despite over 250 local residents signing a petition opposing the idea.
- Plans reference the possibility of introducing a one-way system to Lloyd Road and Hawarden Road.
- Plans include a large ‘MUGA’ (‘Multi-Use Games Area’ – sports pitch) directly beside residential properties. The floodlights from the MUGA are very close to existing housing.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR VIEWS KNOWN
- Submit the online form on the council website, BEFORE 18 June 2013. It is VERY IMPORTANT to include the reference “2013/0656 WILLOWFIELD SCHOOL” – www.bit.ly/willowfield_comments
~ OR ~
- Click here to email your comments to email@example.com – make sure to include your name and address as well as the reference “2013/0656 WILLOWFIELD SCHOOL” before 18 June 2013
~ OR ~
- Write a letter expressing your views and post it to Waltham Forest Council before 18 June 2013. It is VERY IMPORTANT to include the reference “2013/0656 WILLOWFIELD SCHOOL”
Planning Officer – 2013/0656 WILLOWFIELD SCHOOL
Waltham Forest Council
Sycamore House – Environment, Planning and Building Control
Rear of Walthamstow Town Hall
Walthamstow E17 4JF
- If you experience any problems or have any more questions, please email BAG on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our best to help you!
WHAT WE OPPOSE & WHY
BAG and local residents welcome Willowfield School and all the positive effects it will have on the area but here is an outline of the key objections we’ve gathered from 100’s of people living near to the site.
1. Plans for a third school access point at the end of Hawarden Road, on the bend with Edward Road.
– BAG believes this entrance will have an adverse affect on the character of the surrounding neighbourhood and streets. This small pocket of original Warner homes is of historical value to Walthamstow. In the planning application the entrance’s stated use is for staff cars, staff bikes, drop offs for SEN pupils and community use after school hours. However the onsite car park only has 30 staff car spaces, so an entrance for staff cars is unnecessary – especially as there is another vehicle entrance planned less than 50 metres away on Blackhorse Road. The meaning of the reference to “community use after school hours” is unclear – what events will this entrance be used for? And for how many vehicles/people?
2. Plans reference the possibility of introducing a one-way system to Lloyd Road and Hawarden Road.
– BAG believes one-way systems are very bad news – they often increase speed and volume of motor traffic as drivers have a “clear run”, therefore impacting badly on walking and cycling and the public realm in general. If introduced, all motor traffic (including almost all existing residential motor traffic) will go through almost all the streets of the system. For example somebody living in Lloyd Road who would have previously driven in and out of Lloyd Road directly to Blackhorse Road, would then go through all the streets on the one-way system. Residents will see an increase in motor traffic going past their houses with all the associated disbenefits. The corner of Edward and Hawarden Road is a well-known ‘blind’ corner, drivers approach it with extra caution so a “clear run” at that point would be extremely dangerous. All this is detrimental to a good residential environment, to good walking conditions and it’s a disaster for cycling.
3. Plans include a large ‘MUGA’ (‘Multi-Use Games Area’ – sports pitch) directly beside residential properties.
– The floodlights from the MUGA would be far too close to existing housing. When BAG met with the designers of the school site, they told us that the MUGA could be doubled-up as a car park, to be used during school events. It would make much more sense to locate the pitches on the other side of the site, perhaps on the derelict tennis courts on Douglas Eyre playing fields – although this wouldn’t be as easy if converting the space to a car parking area.