L&Q relationship with planning department of Waltham forest council – URGENT

Letter to Council Leader Chris Robbins from Save Our Stow

Dear Chris

Save Our Stow is most concerned about the following, in view of your remarks that the council is independent and would remain independent concerning planning matters.  Could you please explain the e-mail below, which has been sent to us and shows your Planning Department fixing planning dates to stop residents expressing their views. Mr Baxter of L&Q appears to be in charge of the arrangements and sorting out dates to stop anybody having an opinion against L&Q. Why does L&Q have such power over your borough?  It is also worth noting that L&Q have maintained that Cllr.Pye & Loakes of your council encouraged them to buy the dog track and it is also worth noting Cllr.Pye is desperate for L&Q to gain planning permission.

The e-mail also states that Mr Baxter is asking for” intelligence” towards a scheme – and if the councillor named in his e-mail does not fall in line with L&Q, then Councillor Pye and yourself will deal with the matter.

We consider that this a total breach of the residents’ trust and indicates fixing of developments with L&Q.  We urge you to hold a full inquiry and seek assurance that the views of ALL your residents (who have voted against the unpopular plans of L&Q) will not be fixed as per the Walton House development.  Every resident within the roads subject to consultation has voted against L&Q, and not one resident has voted for the site to become a housing estate. We seek urgent assurance that L&Q will not have control over the Stow planning and the residents’ views will count.

We have cc’d this e-mail to local MP’s, Mayor Boris Johnson and other Government officials.

Regards

Rick Holloway

Save Our Stow & Residents Associations partners

 —–Original Message—–>>> Simon Baxter <SBaxter@lqgroup.org.uk> 14/07/2011 09:31 >>>

David
Have you gleaned any more intelligence in respect of this situation?

Regards
Simon Baxter

—–Original Message—–
From: Simon Baxter
Sent: 08 July 2011 17:32
To: ‘David Scourfield’
Subject: RE: Walton House – Meeting with Cllr Jemma Hemsted – 01/07/2011

David
Thanks for getting back to me.
I do think that a protracted delay could actually create more unwarranted attention than the scheme being heard at committee sooner, ie in August, for the reasons set out in my earlier note.
There was nothing before or during the meeting that suggested to me there was a substantial or noisy group of residents putting enormous pressure on Councillor Hemsted.
What discontent there is does not seem rooted in breaches of planning policy or particularly widely held.
Look forward to hearing from you next week.

Simon Baxter

>Simon Baxter| Senior Land & Development Manager | tel: 0844 406 9000 Ext 7467 | fax: 0800 619 0213 | mailto:sbaxter@lqgroup.org.uk |
>London & Quadrant Housing Trust | Stratford Eye | 10 Grove Crescent Road | London | E15 1BJ |
>
>

—–Original Message—–
From: David Scourfield [mailto:David.Scourfield@walthamforest.gov.uk]
Sent: 08 July 2011 15:13
To: Simon Baxter
Subject: Re: Walton House – Meeting with Cllr Jemma Hemsted – 01/07/2011

Simon

I have spoken to Shifa and she has suggested that a meeting between the ward cllrs and the Leader may be appropriate.

I will contact Cllr Hempstead on Monday

have a good weekend

David

>>> Simon Baxter <SBaxter@lqgroup.org.uk> 07/01/11 4:21 PM >>>
To:  David Scourfield /Ian Ansell
We have just returned from meeting Ccllr Hemsted at her request, and I thought it would be useful to let you know how the meeting went.
L&Q was represented by myself, Jamie Dalton  and Gavin Redfearn from Stock Wolstencroft. The meeting lasted about an hour.
In general the overall tone of the meeting was friendly, open  and informative. Cllr Hemsted had a number of points raised to her by her constituents to which we responded, which I summarise below. There was nothing before or during the meeting that suggested to me there was a substantial or noisy group of residents putting enormous pressure on Councillor Hemsted. She advised that there was a general acceptance that housing would/should be built on the site and that the concerns on the whole were typical of those that residents would have faced with a locally significant change, and the prospect of having building operations in their immediate locality. She expressed surprise that it was no longer going to next weeks committee and asked us when it was going.
I left the meeting wondering if it would be appropriate for Councillor Pye or Robbins to speak to Councillor Hemsted, and perhaps gauge their own direct view of how she thinks the timing of the hearing of the scheme at committee in say August might be received? It  may be that once she has communicated back to the residents from whom she received queries, that there is even less discontent with the scheme. What discontent there is does not seem rooted in breaches of planning policy or particularly widely held.  I do wonder if a protracted delay would actually create more unwarranted attention than the scheme being heard sooner. Perhaps you could explore these issues amongst yourselves and appropriate members.
A summary of the  specific points she raised and the generality of our responses:

1)      Why is the Chingford Mount Road frontage 4 storey and why is it flats?
We explained about density ranges, the London Plan, Waltham Forest UDP and housing policies, and the range and mix of dwelling sizes across the scheme as a whole. That Chingford Mt Rd and surrounding streets had a number of different storey heights and different urban grains, which were reflected within our scheme as a whole.

2)      Parking
We explained how parking policy was mediated in London and the various tensions that existed between the London Plan and ‘local perceptions’. We advised on the ratio of car parking proposed on the site relative to the number of units.

3)      Tenure
We advised on the tenure distribution across the site, and that circa 65% of the scheme would be housing for sale, with the rest divided between shared ownership and affordable rent.

4)      Funding of social housing
We explained how there had been a 74% cut in the capital grant available for affordable housing which had led to us producing a far higher proportion of sale housing on the site than originally envisaged. We explained that we sought to make a surplus on the sale housing in order to subsidise the affordable housing.

5)      Amenity space and vehicle movement
We went through the thinking that informed the central courtyard and shared surface idea, and that the central space would be designed so that pedestrians had priority. We responded to some queries regarding the relationship between the roof terraces  on some units and their relationship with adjoining properties.

6)      Were L&Q making s106 contributions?
We advised that we would be, in negotiation with LB WF

7)      Has the scheme changed a lot since the consultation event in November 2010?
We advised that we responded to some of the points raised ,and how we had done this was contained in the Statement of |Community Involvement which we agreed to send her a copy of. it hadn’t

It would perhaps be helpful for you to speak to Ccllr Hemsted direct and gauge a sense both of her views and the meeting we have had.
Regards
Simon Baxter

Simon Baxter| Senior Land & Development Manager | tel: 0844 406 9000 Ext 7467 | fax: 0800 619 0213 | mailto:sbaxter@lqgroup.org.uk |
London & Quadrant Housing Trust | Stratford Eye | 10 Grove Crescent Road | London | E15 1BJ |

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2 Responses to L&Q relationship with planning department of Waltham forest council – URGENT

  1. lee sivell says:

    london and quadrant should get out this borough and there should be an instant investigation into all planing applications made by l+q . the l.b.w.f council should hang their heads in shame as it just proves that a housing association has the control of the couocil. next it will be intresting to see what favours and backhanders theese councillors get from l+q. the council should remember the people of waltham forest voted them in not london and quadrant.

  2. thomas corderoy says:

    I just cant get my head around why Waltham Forest Council cannot simply put a compulsory order on the Walthamstow site, reject any plans that L&Q have for planning permission and consign them to the history bin.
    L&Q have behaved abominably since they ”bought” the stadium three years ago but above all have had total disregard to the local residents/community when carrying out their straw poll into whether the borough wants return of greyhound racing> I agree with all what Lee said in his message too.

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