English Heritage urges Council to refuse L&Q and retain stadium for it’s original use

The following article has been taken from today’s Local Guardian website:


THE current plans for the development of Walthamstow Stadium should be refused, according to English Heritage.

The body, which promotes and protects historic monuments and landmarks, said London & Quadrant’s proposal would harm the listed aspects of the site.

In a letter to Waltham Forest Council’s planning department, English Heritage advises that the best use for the building is usually what it was designed for.

A spokeswoman said: “Whilst the scheme retains the most significant elements of the stadium, the listed curtilage structures on the site are proposed for total demolition.   “While the principle of housing on the site is one we support, the current proposed form of housing would harm the settings of the retained listed assets and remove all sense of their original context.”

The body asked Waltham Forest to take into account the positive role heritage assets such as the stadium play in sustaining communities and economic vitality.

The letter described the Stow as ‘a significant complex in the history of greyhound racing’ and architecture.

However, English Heritage did accept that not all original uses were viable or appropriate and the best way of securing the upkeep of historic buildings is to keep them in use.

L&Q chief executive, David Montague, said the housing associations plans for the site have been revised.

The full details have yet to be made public but the plans still include around 300 homes, allotments and leisure facilities, as included in the original plan.

L&Q says it is in discussions with English Heritage and the council.  A spokesperson added: “The iconic buildings such as the main Tote and kennels are central to our scheme and will create new public spaces bringing the site’s heritage into sustainable long term use by people of all ages in the community.”

SOS response:

Saveourstow now calls upon L&Q to engage in further negotiations with Mr Bob Morton with immediate effect and sell.  The stadium has been left for nearly three years with workers unemployed and on long term benefits.  The site is an eyesore for the residents and a plain nuisance.

The community wants its most used stadium back and visitors to return to Europe’s number one greyhound stadium, so they can visit the historic splendour that is simply “The Stow”

Waltham Forest Council should honour the wishes of the residents and  English Heritage now, and confirm that the site be retained to include greyhound racing.  SOS also urges the Mayor of London to call the site in if L&Q won’t stop wasting taxpayers money and listen to local MPs.

The situation cannot be allowed to continue any longer and L&Q must adhere to English Heritage’s advice and include Greyhound Racing.  After all, L&Q did buy a greyhound track – and an historic one at that.

We ask councillors, MPs and The Mayor of London to act now.  Allow Bob Morton’s offer of private investment to rebuild a multi-use stadium for the whole community, re-instate permanent employment, and preserve a site of local history – in conjunction with affordable housing.

Guardian update 01/02/11 – Comments from Guardian website

Sam Hain, says…
10:47pm Mon 31 Jan 11

Not a cat in hell’s chance! No doubt Cllr Pye’s response will be that if English Heritage don’t like it they should move to Surrey!

JasonOMalley, says…
8:54am Tue 1 Feb 11

I will lose a lot of faith in our elected leaders if this is approved.

This has sink estate written all over it. No amenities nearby, no transport nearby, no reason to go there unless you live there – L&Q are deluded if they think they can re-create arsenal.

It really will mean there is no accountability in the planning dept if this is approved when the public are opposed to it, our local mp’s are opposed to it, heritage organisation’s are opposed to it (should that read everyone is opposed to it??).

JasonOMalley, says…
9:09am Tue 1 Feb 11

forgot to add this bit.

Blackhorse lane is a brilliant site for regeneration – it has superb transport links, lots of empty land and there are local amenities.

Why can’t a deal to be done where L&Q develop this area in return for letting the stadium go – everyone is then a winner?????????

Sam Hain, says…
10:01am Tue 1 Feb 11

In answer to your question “should that read everyone is opposed to it?”, Jason, I think you will find Cllr Pye will be hugely in favour of it. Housing, housing and more housing (and to hell with any support infrastructure) appears to be her mantra.

Seeing Sense, Walthamstow says…
11:31am Tue 1 Feb 11

Everyone braying about keeping the dog track in use seems to forget the key fact that no one actually went to it when it was open!

ConcernedResident, Chingford says…
1:24pm Tue 1 Feb 11

Seeing Sense wrote:
Everyone braying about keeping the dog track in use seems to forget the key fact that no one actually went to it when it was open!

I went frequently to the dogs and it was quite often packed.
Being a privately held business though, there are conveniently no public accounts available to back up any claims that the previous owner (Mr Chandler) made that the stadium wasn’t economically viable at the time it closed.
Still, all credit to him for correctly betting when the peak of the property market would be, thus maximising it’s value.

Cattleactor, Leyton says…
3:48pm Tue 1 Feb 11

The Dog track is crucial to regenerate walthamstow

Seeing Sense, Walthamstow says…
6:17pm Tue 1 Feb 11

Cattleactor wrote:
The Dog track is crucial to regenerate walthamstow

It’s not even in Walthamstow!


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