L&Q’s website contains various misleading and incorrect facts which we wish to correct. In our opinion, we consider their comments to be misleading to the public, made worse by the fact that L&Q are a social housing charity funded by the tax payer. It should be remembered that YOU THE TAXPAYER are funding the Chairman’s £398K annual salary and the Chief Executive’s £207K annual salary and it is a public disgrace that they fail to report the Mayor of London’s comments on the site amongst other errors and misleading information
1. L&Q statement : Walthamstow Stadium was built and owned by the Chandler family who ran it for over 75 years. They closed the track in August 2008 having made a significant financial loss in the last full year of its operation.
FACTS : L&Q acknowledge that the track was profitable in 74 of the 75 years of the track’s existence, the final year’s loss a result of the track being run down to sell when an option to sell (signed July 2007) was already in place. In the 6 years to February 2007, the track made a £10M profit if directors’ salaries/pension are ignored.
2. L&Q statement: L&Q has worked in the borough for over 40 years
FACTS : having worked in the Borough for 40 years they should have known :-
-that the Stow employed directly and indirectly 700 local people, many of which are L&Q’s own tenants
-that the Stow is vital to the night-time economy of the area
-that the Stow is the Borough’s most treasured land mark and is a major part of its heritage
-that the Stow is loved by hundreds of thousands of people
3. L&Q statement: Some greyhound racing supporters would love to see the dogs restored to Walthamstow Stadium.
FACTS : SOS are not just greyhound racing supporters, we REPRESENT THE WISHES OF THE BOROUGH’S RESIDENTS and are backed by the local residents associations such as Black Horse Action Group. Both local MP’s Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith and Stella Creasy want greyhound racing back and they have been democratically elected to represent the borough’s residents. Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith handed in a 25,000 strong petition to the council and the residents provided the council with ten times more submissions than any other site in their call for site protection.
4. L&Q statement : As yet L&Q has not received a formal, evidenced offer to purchase or lease the site.
FACTS : Below is an extract of our latest offer to lease the site, dated 17th May 2010 and addressed to L&Q Chairman Turlogh O’Brien. Rick Holloway will personally lodge the deposit and that offer remains today.
‘I would like to make a formal offer to lease the stadium for a three year period at an annual rent of £500,000 per annum. Both the duration of the lease and the annual rent payable is open to discussion and agreement. I will personally lodge a £1 million deposit with London & Quadrant on agreement of the terms of the lease. All insurance costs will be met by us.’
5. L&Q Statement : ‘nor have we yet been consulted to provide the housing element of a mixed development alternative.’
FACTS : We set out below an extract from a letter from London & Quadrant to Save Our Stow :
‘We will not temporarily lease the Stadium for Greyhound racing as there are a number of legal and public safety issues associated with this.We will not get involved in the plans for a mixed residential/greyhound track development.’
6. L&Q Statement : ‘our plans for the development continue apace.’
FACTS : L&Q’s plans have infact ground to a halt. In fact they have no plans for the site. In October 2008, almost 2 years ago, Simon Baxter of L&Q stated ‘our intention is to apply for planning permission shortly and be on site in the latter half of 2009’ . The reality is that L&Q has lost their builders (KW Linfoot), their financial partners (Yoo Capital) and they have stated publicly that the earliest that building will commence is 2012. They have also sadly lost the respect of MP’s, Councillors and the whole of the Borough.
7. L&Q Statement: We will continue to meet with interested parties, working closely with Save Our Stow, Waltham Forest Council and other local stakeholders – including Iain Duncan Smith MP and Stella Creasy MP
FACTS : L&Q has not kept the council or indeed the Mayor’s office informed with their so called plans. Still no meetings have been booked with either Stella Creasy or Iain Duncan Smith and today Stella has asked us to quote that she is ‘deeply disappointed with L&Q’s actions throughout their ownership of the site’. At no point has L&Q offered to meet with SOS to discuss options.
8. L&Q Statement : L&Q plans to bring forward a residential-led, mixed use proposal across all tenures of which at least 20% will be family sized accommodation (3 beds and above). At least 50% of the homes will be for sale, the remaining homes will be affordable with at least half of these being for shared ownership and intermediate tenures.
FACT : It is an insult to the Mayor of London that they have not made reference to his comments on their website and a disgrace that they have also ignored the wishes of the councillors and MP’s. Everybody (except L&Q) want to see the return of the dog track.
In conclusion, we offer London and Quadrant a sensible solution to this farce that they have created. On behalf of the community of Waltham Forest and the 4th largest sport in the country we ask that they now work with us on a mixed use development, as supported by the Mayor of London.
SAVE OUR STOW-VOICE OF THE BOROUGH’S RESIDENTS