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Planning & Development

Occupy Leyton Marsh

Around 200 people turned up to protest at Leyton Marsh on Saturday 24th March, see Pedro Reyna's photostream.

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just not cricket?

Perhaps that fragile 'Legacy' shifts quicker than the underground aquifers round here: Some of the new cricket pitches (and what remains of the wildflower meadow) might want digging up for new flood protection (to protect the posh in those 'new neighbourhoods' downriver)?

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Press Release: Leyton Marsh Campaign to seek Judicial Review

As already featured on Games Monitor a newly formed campaign group, The Save Leyton Marshes! Group, has issued a Press Rlease stating its intention to seek a Judicial Review of Waltham Forest's decision to approve construction of a Basketball Training Facility at Leyton Marsh.

The statement, which is attached, included the following declaration:

A unanimous vote decided in favour of taking legal action to seek a Judicial Review of Waltham Forest’s procedures in approving the development, which is on Metropolitan Open Land within the Regional Park and therefore supposedly protected under national and regional legislation - as well as in Waltham Forest’s own Development Plan.

It was also agreed by unanimous vote that a Barrister should be instructed to issue the letter on behalf of the group. A Conference with Counsel is being arranged for Tuesday afternoon, so that the necessary documentation can be issued to Waltham Forest’s Legal Department by close of business

The Legal Case we are bringing:

The first step is to send a letter before action to LBWF, and on 29th February to issue a claim for Leave to pursue Judicial Review at the High Court, including a request for a Holding Order to prevent work starting during the progress of the case, and probably accompanied by an emergency Injunction to prevent the site being fenced off – which has been given permission from the 1st March.

There is also an option of making a formal complaint to the Borough itself, which could ultimately come to referral to the Local Government Ombudsman, and of making a complaint about the conduct of the Lea Valley Regional Park Authority who have not acted in accordance with their own governing Park Act providing for the setting up the country’s first Regional Park in 1967.

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Vandals at the Gate - Open letter to Greenwich Councillors

Following the demolition of the Blackheath Gate Rachel Mawhood decided to send an open letter sent to Greenwich Councillors. It is published below with some minor amendments to the text for clarity and to include links.

She also records: ‘Incidentally, when a member of the Friends of Greenwich Park telephoned the chair of the Friends to complain about the demolition, her de haut en bas response included her opinion that as the Gates were only put up in 1880 they were "not that old" ... With Friends like these in the amenity societies, who needs LOCOG?'

Dear Councillors

Why did councillors not challenge LOCOG's assertion in Paragraph 7.6 on page 58 in the planning board report for the meeting on 26 January 2012, the Blackheath Gate application 11/2396/F and application for Listed Building Consent (Ref: 11/2397/L) that the bricks in the Blackheath Gate stanchions were of ‘poor quality’

‘generally the poor quality of the bricks’

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Olympics Land Wars and Judicial Reviews

Following the recent debacle over the Circus Field Nogoe has announced that it is seeking legal advice on and preparing to seek judicial review of Greenwich Council's planning board decision of 26 January 2012.

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Circus Field - Cuckoo comes early to Greenwich

Unsurprisingly Locog's planning application for its activities in Greenwich Park was passed by Greenwich's Planning Committee. Three of the nine members of the Committee, including the Leader of the Council, failed to turn up. It is questionable whether it and other Olympic Borough Planning Committees still deserve that name so corrupted has the local planning system been by the progress of the juggernaut.

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Circus Field - Bring on the Clowns!

The circus goes on! Having elicited the information from Greenwich Council's Senior Planning Solicitor that the ODA had requested that the LDA purchase Blackheath Circus Field on its behalf, NOGOE's Rachel Mawhood was surprised by the response from the ODA to a Freedom of Information request submitted on 20th December 2011 in which she had written:

'I understand, LOCOG intends to use the Olympics Act 2006 somehow to circumvent the 1866 and 1871 legislation to empower themselves to enclose Circus Field in 2012.

Which part of the Olympics Act says that it can be used to over-ride the Metropolitan Commons Act 1866 and Supplemental Act 1871?'

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What a Circus!

Following the revelation that the Blackheath Circus Field had been purchased by the ODA NOGOE2012 has pressed on to uncover more details about the transaction. It turns out that the purchase was actually made by the LDA.

Mrs Mawhood of NOGOE pointed out to the Greenwich Senior Planning Solicitor that the Olympics Act required that purchases of land for the purposes of the Olympics have to be made by a Regional Development Agency, which the ODA is not. The Solicitor has responded that the ODA has got around this problem by requesting the LDA buy the land on its behalf, so the LDA has taken out a short lease from the Crown Estate Commissioners and the Queen.

Dear Mrs Mawhood

The London Development Agency (LDA) is a regional development agency for
the purposes of the London 2012 Act. The LDA was designated as a
development agency for the Greater London Area under Schedule 1 of the
Regional Development Agencies Act 1998. The LDA is acting at the request
of the ODA as set out in s.36(1) in acquiring a short lease of Circus
Field from the Crown Estates owner of this part of the registered common.

The lease is made between Her Majesty the Queen, the Crown Estate
Commissioners and the London Development Agency, and an under lease of
the Circus Field has been made between the LDA and LOCOG by licence to
underlet from the Crown Estate Commissioners.


Suan White
Senior Planning Solicitor
Greenwich Council

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