Lea Park may challenge Waltham Forest on Essex Wharf

(continued from 5 May, 26 March, 9 March)

36 people let us know that they signed the Essex Wharf petition after we emailed you at the end of last week. Maybe there were some others? – do let us know, it helps us organise. Two people also let us know that they wrote to Chris Kennedy – please copy us in if you also did.

Here’s the upshot, courtesy of Lea Valley Federation:

LVRPA Executive meeting, Thursday 26th May 2011

On Thursday 26th May, The Executive of the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA) decided:

1 To write a “letter before action” to LB Waltham Forest in pursuit of Judicial Review of its decision to grant planning permission for high-rise residential development on Essex Wharf; the Council has to reply within 14 days.

Starting the procedure with this pre-application letter does not commit the Park Authority to going further with the application, but we understood that all decisions on the future process will be taken by the Executive Committee and will, therefore, be subject to further influence by the Lea Valley Federation.

2 To take no action to pursue Judicial Review against the Secretary of State’s decision not to call in the matter as requested by the LVRPA.

The LVRPA officers’ recommendation not to proceed with JR against either the Secretary of State or Waltham Forest was not accepted by Members of the Executive, who felt that their Counsel’s assessment of the chances of success at 30-40% in the case of Waltham Forest justified opening the application process.

Laurie Elks of the Lea Valley Federation (LVF) was given time to put our views to the Executive; he made a powerful statement in favour of them not being limited by the officers’ advice, before the decision was taken by the Members. Oliver Williams and David Rees of the LVF also attended the meeting, and Oliver presented the petition objecting to the Essex Wharf development at the outset of the meeting.

This must be seen as a great success for the persistence of the LVF, and of the 336 people who signed Cam Matheson’s petition, in fighting on against what we all know would be a disastrous development for the Lee Valley Park.

The acting Chairman thanked us for our contribution to their decision-making process and explicitly for the petition which had been submitted.

So there is another chance to examine the reasoning behind LBWF’s decision to grant permission; subject to further advice and discussion in the light of Waltham Forest’s response to the LVRPA’s letter before action, Judicial Review remains a possibility.


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