Mr J Geoghegan
Group Director, Development
London and Quadrant
London SE3 9DR
24 June 2009
Dear Mr Geoghegan
I am disappointed to note that our broker Richard Leach has not received a reply to his letter of 14 May 2009 in which Richard suggested a meeting to discuss leasing and outright purchase options relating to the Stadium.
I am aware of your conditions before you would consider any bid to purchase the stadium outright.
My disappointment is levied at your unwillingness to consider a lease of the stadium. Richard’s letter detailed interest in leasing the site at an annual rent of around £750,000 with a security deposit of around £1,000,000. The sum of £750,000 per annum equates to a return of 4.17% on your £18m investment which is extremely attractive in today’s market. If you require proof of funds in respect of the £1m deposit, we would be very happy to provide this to you.
Your letter of 4 June 2009 to Neil Gerrard MP mentions that ‘we have had offers for temporary lease arrangements but again for a number of reasons these have not been sustainable’. On behalf of the residents of Waltham Forest and ex employees of the track would you please clarify precisely what you mean by this? The only reference you have made to us in this connection that we are aware of is detailed in your letter of 2 October 2008 in which you stated;
L&Q: We do not wish to be legally associated with the running of a greyhound stadium.
Our response : you are clearly willing to be associated with a derelict site costing many hundreds of thousands of pounds of partly tax payers money with your actions preventing the creation of over 500 jobs for the borough’s residents and an inexpensive night out that has been enjoyed by the borough’s residents for the last 80 years.
L&Q: The offer was made unsubstantiated.
Our response: Above, we have offered to prove our ability to pay the deposit-what other substantiation do you require?
L&Q: We are not the owners of the car park which previously served the stadium and believe this would give rise to some serious legal, planning and public safety issues.
Our response: We appreciate that we would need to demonstrate to the local authorities including the police that there would be sufficient parking and safety procedures in place but we are extremely confident that this would be secured.
L&Q: We do not wish to divert our resources allocated to this scheme, from our primary aim of creating a mixed tenure residential stadium.
Our response : As mentioned above, you seem willing to divert resources to keep the stadium derelict rather than spend a nominal amount in legal fees etc to secure income of £750,000 per annum.
You state that you CREATE PLACES WHERE PEOPLE WANT TO LIVE. People in the main do not want to live close to a derelict site when the alternative is the creation of jobs and leisure facilities for the borough’s residents. We appeal to you to consider the views of the borough’s residents, councillors and local MP’s. If you wish to put this to the test we would happily take part in a phone vote organised by the local Guardian newspaper in which they ask the borough’s residents-do they want their dog track back now or the possibility of houses sometime in the future?
We wish to remind you that the iconic site has leisure as its use on the deeds and you will fail to get a change of use as this will be blocked at every stage.
Despite the reasons given we believe the real reason you will not lease the site is simple-you know that we will prove the viability of the site as a greyhound track, thus ruining your slim chances of developing the site.
You had previously stated that plans would be submitted during late 2008 and now it is clear that they will not be submitted for some years to come, if indeed ever. So we should be most grateful if you would reconsider our offer to lease the stadium from you for the ultimate benefit of the borough’s residents.
Mr Richard Holloway
Cc Neil Gerrard MP
Iain Duncan Smith MP
Ms Stella Creasy
Cllr John Macklin
Cllr Matthew Davis
Cllr Chris Robbins