Leytonstone Residents let down by politicians over decision to allow continued expansion of City Airport

At a recent FORA committee meeting anger and disappointment from local residents was sadly noted as ministers gave the green light for the latest set of expansion proposals for London City Airport. See the following article in The Guardian

Since the concentration of City Airport flight paths directly over Leytonstone aircraft noise has significantly reduced the quality of life of people living in East London. The further increases agreed in July will only make the problem worse.

Anti airport expansion campaigners have made the following points:-

  • Airports should not be based in cities
  • Aircraft noise pollution has serious negative health effects
  • Aircraft particle emissions are harmful to human health
  • Increased air travel is not environmentally sustainable
  • Our country needs a strategic transport strategy written by a responsible government able to think ahead

For more information on the impact of aircraft noise on human health see some recent research from Professor Stephen Stansfeld from Queen Mary College University of London

If you would like to find out more or join the campaign to stop the growth of airports in cities see the following links

If you do not live under one of London City Airport’s flight paths and want to know what it is like see the following video we made in May 2016.

 

 

FORA enjoys drinks on the terrace at Westminster

Inside Westminster

Inside Westminster

On 6th July 2016 FORA members were treated to a historical tour of the Houses of Parliament by the highly entertaining Leyton & Wanstead MP John Cryer. Alongside the 900 year history of the building John explained the workings of parliament from the point of view of a current Member of Parliament. John is also chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party, a role which has been not been without challenges of late. So it was very interesting for FORA members to hear of the mood at Westminster during this historic last 10 days in British politics.

 

John explains the story of Emily Wilding Davison

John explains the story of Emily Wilding Davison

 

 

 

 

As the weather was warm we took the opportunity to have a drink and chat on the terrace bar from which there are wonderful views across the river Thames. All members who took part expressed their gratitude for an excellent event.

Riverside Terrace Westminster

Riverside Terrace Westminster

 

FORA would like to express appreciation to John Cryer MP for giving us such an informative and lively tour of the seat of government during what has been a very busy time for him. For a write up of a previous tour given to FORA members by John see here.

100 years since the first day of the battle of the Somme

One hundred years ago today the battle of the Somme began. The first of July 1916 was the worst day in the history of the British Army with 19,000 dead and 38,000 wounded for advances of between 1 and seven miles. It is quite startling to think that on that day Britain suffered higher casualties than the Suez, Falklands, Northern Ireland, Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts combined. The battle of the Somme was one of many such battles in World War One or the Great War as it was known. During four months of the Somme offensive 420,000 British, British Empire and Dominion troops, 195,000 French and 650,000 German troops were killed. The offensive was finally called off in November 1916.

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Laying wreaths

Thousands of soldiers from Leytonstone served in the First World War and many did not return. You can find out more about these men and where they lived at the Leytonstone War Memorial Project.

Preparing to lower the flag 1st July 2016

Preparing to lower the flag 1st July 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like many villages, towns and cities across the country London Borough of Waltham Forest held a service to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first day of the Somme. The service was attended by the Leader of the Council, Mayor and members of the public. The Western Front Association provided a display of artefacts from the period and blew whistles used to signal the men to go over the top. The Vestry House Museum provided additional documentary material.

Leytonstone War Memorial

Leytonstone War Memorial

Words and pictures by Martin Sepion

Blue Plaques of Leytonstone

Fanny Craddock

Fanny Craddock

The first TV chef I remember was the terrifying Fanny Craddock. You have to be of a certain age to know her name as she pioneered the idea that we can eat more interesting food following the period of rationing of the 1940s and early 50s. She was born in Fairlop Road Leytonstone and while there is a blue plaque to commemorate her the original house was demolished years ago.

 

Probably the most known resident of Leytonstone is film director Sir Alfred Hitchcock.

Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock

Hitchcock’s parents had a greengrocers shop in Leytonstone high road in what is now a petrol station. Hitchcock was part of a group of young film makers from London who made films in what was a thriving London film industry.

 

 

Blur lead singer and musician Damon Albarn grew up in Fillebrook Road Leytonstone and attended George Tomlinson Primary School. Albarn references local landmarks such as Hollow

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Ponds in his music.

 

 

 

 

 

Photographer David Bailey was born in Leytonstone and lived in Wallwood Road E11. He was part of the exciting new group of talented people from more humble backgrounds who were able to break through to prominence in the progressive atmosphere of the 1960s. His photography was more naturalistic and less formal than previous fashion photography.  He was perhaps the first superstar of photography and very much a part of the ‘swinging sixties’.

David Bailey

David Bailey

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you know of any other WFH blue plaques in Leytonstone please let me know via the comment section below. For a fuller list of Leytonstone notables see here.

By Martin Sepion

 

Inspection of Whipps Cross Hospital

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of all health and social care services in England. They register, monitor and inspect services to make sure they provide safe, effective, compassionate, high quality care, and encourage them to improve.
CQC will shortly be inspecting services provided by Barts Health NHS Trust, which includes:
Services delivered at –
Mile End Hospital
Newham University Hospital
The Royal London Hospital
St Bartholomew’s Hospital
Whipps Cross University Hospital

CQC are interested to hear if you have any feedback about the services delivered by this Trust.
See the attached poster for how to contact the CQC

Preservation of the Leytonstone Conservation Area

The Leytonstone Conservation Area is now under threat from unsuitable planning applications and the serious neglect of a listed building. Council officers do not appear to see the bigger picture, and how they could individually and collectively lead to erosion of the character and appearance of the area.

The neglected building is a Grade II Georgian house at 133 Whipps Cross Road. Historic England has now put it on its “At Risk” Register. It describes the condition as poor and deteriorating. An application was made in 2006 to convert it into flats but was rejected by the Council.

https://historicengland.org.uk/advice/heritage-at-risk/search-register/list-entry/1287284

The spate of new planning applications should be viewed in light of Conservation Area law and local planning policy. By law, no development should be allowed in a Conservation Area if it does not enhance or preserve the character and appearance of the area. Special Planning Guidance issued by the Council says it believes conversions of houses into flats in Conservation Areas are contrary to these objectives and it will normally presume against them.  Forest Ward, in which the Conservation Area lies, has also been designated as one of the borough’s Restricted Conversions zones by the Council. This means planning permission should not normally be granted for any family house in the zone to be converted into flats, because the council wants to retain family-sized accommodation in those areas. Residents know, however, that planning decisions can sometimes be a hit-or-miss affair, and law and planning policy are not always logically applied.

An application has been made to extend the listed house adjacent to that on the “At Risk” register. It is 135 Whipps Cross Road, also Georgian and Grade II listed. The owners want to build a ground and first floor extension including loft conversion with rear dormer window. The plan incorporates the conversion of the property from three self-contained flats to five self-contained flats. The creation of the existing three flats was allowed some years before the Council designated it a Conservation Area in 1990.                                                                                                   Application Reference number 161148

Close to these two Georgian houses, still in the Conservation area, there is an unused piece of land to the rear of 111- 117 Whipps Cross Road. Yet another application has been submitted to build what’s called a bungalow on it. Similar applications have been rejected in the past. This was for good reasons including the position and small size of the land, its limited access and threat to protected trees. In 2012, permission for two bungalows was refused. In 2013, permission for one bungalow was refused, and this was again later refused on appeal. The latest application is for the construction on the land of a “two-storey, 2 bedroom bungalow”. The land backs on to houses on Fladgate Road. One resident there has looked up the Oxford Dictionary definition of bungalow. It says “A low house having only one storey or, in some cases, upper rooms set in the roof, typically with dormer windows.”

Application Reference number 161666

Applications that most blatantly go against the intention and spirit of Conservation law and local policy have been made to convert a family home at 20 Forest Glade into flats. Forest Glade is one of the most prominent and best- preserved roads in the Conservation Area. One application is for an extension to convert the house into two self-contained flats, another is for an extension to convert it into 4 self-contained flats. There is also a separate extension application. The applicant makes it clear that he is aware of the Conservation Area and local policy restrictions on flat conversions of family homes, but seeks to downplay their relevance in this case.

Application Reference numbers 161007, 161008,161092 

Please go to the council website if you wish to comment on any of the applications.

Wanstead Women’s Institute Need Your Support – Charity Curry & Quiz Night at St Andrew’s Church

Wanstead WI are holding a quiz and curry night on Saturday 25th June, starting at 7pm, at St Andrew’s Church Hall, Colworth Road, Leytonstone E11 1JD in order to raise money for the Hub, a charity in Leytonstone which holds workshops daily for disabled people.
StAndrewsChurch5
The Hub is Wanstead WI’s chosen charity of the year and the quiz is an attempt to raise a decent sum of money for this worthwhile cause.  The cost of the ticket is £10 to include the cost of curry from the Star of India.  Please contact wanstead-wi@hotmail.co.uk for tickets.

Leytonstone Town Centre Works to run to December

You should have got a small booklet through your door outlining works to be carried out following the mini Holland consultations. If not you can view the results of the consultations and a timeline of alterations online by clicking  here Leytonstone-map

If you would like to share you thoughts on these changes please comment below.

 

 

Historical Walk in Leytonstone

FORA members and friends were treated to a fascinating guided walk by Dr Neil Houghton of Walthamstow Historical Society on Saturday 21st May. Neil set the group the challenge of spotting the subtle differences in architecture which enable us to date houses and identify their original purpose. We learned about the wealthy families who lived in the area before the building of the Victorian terraced housing seen today. Characters such as two governors of the bank of England and an extremely rich slave trader lived in this part of Leytonstone. We identified the boundary between the forest royal hunting ground and land on which commoners had grazing rights during the medieval period. We heard of the four thousand year old flint tools found along the streams running through the area. We listened to the rich history surrounding the procurement and building of St Andrew’s church. Neil provided us with maps and information and helped us to become ‘eagle eyed’ field historians.

Some members of FORA have four legs

Some members of FORA have four legs

Participants gave very positive feedback on the event and on behalf of all I would like to thank Dr. Neil Houghton for his time, energy, entertaining delivery and thorough knowledge of his subject.

Plenty of food and food for thought at FORA AGM

Forest Residents Association AGM and 10th birthday celebration got off to a great start with an excellent meal provided by the Star of India.

FORA Committee Members Najma, Frances and Tony make sure nobody goes hungry

Epping Forest Constable Ian Greer answering residents questions about Hollow Ponds

Epping Forest Constable Ian Greer answering residents questions about Hollow Ponds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corporation of London Epping Forest Constables Ian Greer and Martin Whitfield gave a fantastic talk on managing the forest. They shared their many years experience and knowledge of the special nature of the forest land and the management plans in place to safeguard its future. They took time to answer the many questions local residents had for them while explaining recent developments and plans.

John Stewart and Rob Barnstone

John Stewart and Rob Barnstone

John Stewart and Robert Barnstone from HACAN East talking to Leytonstone residents who are living under City Airport’s flight paths about campaigning to stop city airport. John and Rob explained the current consultation and the airport’s plans to grow further. Their talk was followed by a lively discussion of how to gain support for residents and HACAN from politicians and decision makers.

 

FORA is 10 years old this year. The occasion was celebrated by an overview of FORA’s achievements by Chair Vaseem Gill who also highlighted the 10 events FORA ran last year and forthcoming events planned for this year.  New and long serving FORA members shared drinks and cake to celebrate our first 10 years.

AGM Cake

We would like to thank all those who attended with special thanks to Cllr Shabana Dhedhi, Cllr Gerry Lyons, Writer John Rogers, Epping Forest Constables Ian Greer and Martin Whitfield, HACAN East campaigners John Stewart and Robert Barnstone for contributing to the event. A big thank you also to FORA committee members June, Alan, Frances, Najma, Tony, Martin, Heather, Trevor and Vaseem for planning, organising and delivering this excellent event.