Back at the very start of January, a good many of us turned out on a cold night at Waltham Forest Town Hall to oppose the proposed building development on Essex Wharf. (Essex Wharf is the currently empty industrial site across the Lea from north Millfields.) That was the developers’ third proposal, reworked from their second. At the time, their second proposal was about to come up for appeal before a planning inspector, having been refused by the council. MUG made a submission to the appeal.
Well, the good news is that the inspector has turned the appeal down. He thought that the design was too big and solid to dump in the middle of the continuous metropolitan open space formed by Millfields and the Marshes:
“cumulatively, the siting, bulk, orientation and height of the proposed development would significantly impede intervisibility and the perception of the open space in the marshes and Millfields on either side.”
He also thought the side facing eastwards was too ugly and boring for the site:
”The east elevation as a whole would be typical of many other ordinary utilitarian developments that can be found in many places that do not have the special qualities or prominent visibility that this site possesses.”
He listed six different ways in which the proposal breaks policies laid down in Waltham Forest’s Unitary Development Plan.
To our dismay, Waltham Forest Council accepted the third proposal on 4 January. The last line of defence is now the Lea Valley Regional Park Authority, which has referred the decision to the secretary of state. We are waiting to see what happens next.
You can see more at the Lea Valley Federation website. MUG is one of the LVF organisations.
You should be able to read the inspector’s report here.