Saveourstow is delighted to announce that Mr Bob Morton yesterday repeated his £9m offer to purchase Walthamstow Stadium from L&Q in a letter to L&Q’s Chief Executive David Montague. The offer is well above the site’s current market value and, with the Billet Road site being refused planning permission by the Secretary of State, there is now no chance of L&Q’s deeply unpopular plans being successful. We also note that council planners have rejected plans for the EMD Cinema due to its historic asset status to the borough and viability issues and these principles apply even stronger to the Stow.
It is now time for our ‘Major East End Landmark’ and ‘best surviving and most celebrated inter- war greyhound stadium’ (as quoted by English Heritage) to be returned to it’s historic use. The stadium is completely viable and Mr Morton, a multi–millionaire on the Times Rich List and owner of another successful greyhound track, has given assurances to the Council Leadership that he will return the stadium to its full glory for East Londoners and the Borough to enjoy and in time for next Summer’s Olympics if a deal can be finalised shortly. He also pledged more Affordable Housing on the site than L&Q’s current plans offer and pledged full support to the Borough with millions of pounds of private investment creating 1,500 jobs and a sustainable night-time economy.
We invite Labour Local Councillors to join Saveourstow in condemning L&Q for their lies and destroying employment, economic growth and inward investment by land banking the iconic stadium, using public funds to do so. Council Leader Chris Robbins now has the shame as leader for allowing the stadium to lie in ruins and be an eyesore for the upcoming Olympics. He is burying his head in the sand but this will not go away and his party will be judged at the next election by whether greyhound racing is returned to the site, as demanded by 94% of residents who voted him in to office. The Labour Council can and must act now or face the utter humiliation of allowing the most iconic greyhound stadium in Europe to become another housing estate slum created by L&Q, while hundreds of his residents remain unemployed. Chris Robbins would be selling the Borough’s Heritage for the sake of a commercial developer which has wasted millions of tax payer money which, even if they did build, would make a 25 million plus loss out of part taxpayer funds!!
Chris Robbins has failed to uphold Labour values so far and we call upon him to create the 1,500 jobs so vital to his borough with private money, not public subsidy, by publicly condemning L&Q in line with MP’s, the Mayor of London and his fellow councillors. He must now lead and call time on L&Q.
L&Q has failed for three years to submit a planning application, blaming everyone bar themselves. We note that L&Q Director Steve Yianni has now stated an application will be made ‘later in the year’ after promising local councillors that it would be submitted by 31 March at the latest and ‘imminently’ at the recent consultations. The first planning application submission date given was late 2008-just when will Chris Robbins stop his constituents and fellow councillors being lied to in this way and treated with utter contempt? L&Q has been branded ‘liars’ by a Government Minister and accused of total deception by Councillors of Waltham Forest. The only reason they will not sell is because the Chief Executive has staked his personal reputation on the site.
L&Q was offered £750,000 pounds a year to lease the stadium almost three years ago which they could have done for recouped a substantial amount for the tax payer but declined because they knew it would show how viable the site is. L&Q is totally wasting tax payer money and we call for a public enquiry in to L&Q finances when they appear before Parliament.