Future plans for the United Reformed Church

United-Reform-Church The future of the United Reformed Church and the Cromwell Hall could soon be decided. Architects will be presenting their vision at a meeting at 10.30am on Saturday 27th February to members of the congregation and local residents. A further church meeting will be held following the morning service on Sunday 28th February to discuss which plans should be chosen.

The church and halls were given grade II status in 2009 however the congregation were recently forced to sell the Grove and Centenary Halls to raise funds for the £750,000 needed for essential repairs to the church and remaining hall. The church was originally that of St Luke’s Parish at St Pancras and was moved brick by brick to Wanstead in 1867 when the rail terminal was built.

Local residents are encouraged to attend to discuss the future of these historic buildings which form an important part of Wanstead’s landscape.

Redbridge i – an easy link to the Council

Redbridgei

Redbridge Council has made some changes to their website recently and it’s now a whole lot more user friendly; as well as being a tool for the council to report news and information to us residents it’s also pretty handy for us to feedback issues to the council.

 

The homepage is a one-stop shop with links for reporting problems such as fly tipping or defective street lighting, for making requests like an ad-hoc garden waste collection, emailing councillors direct, and you can also keep up to date on the latest planning applications close to your home.

 

Take a look for yourself at www.redbridge.gov.uk; whether it's excessive litter or an abandonned vehicle, this is an easy way to report it and get it sorted that bit quicker.

Air traffic woes

FTF NEW LOGOverysmall[1] You’ve probably noticed a huge increase in the number of aircraft flying low over our homes lately and the bothersome noise that comes with it. This is due to the flight path for City Airport having been moved northward and directly over the Wanstead area. This, coupled with the increased traffic from Heathrow, is causing a headache for residents all over East London… and it gets worse. Newham Council have agreed to allow an increase in flight numbers by 50% from 80,000 to 120,000 per year, all without consulting with its neighbouring boroughs. 

 

Fight the Flights, a campaign group of residents across the boroughs, has been furiously campaigning against the City Airport expansion and so far has succeeded in convincing the Civil Aviation Authority to carry out a review of the flight path. What's more, in September 2009 they launched a legal challenge against Newham Council regarding the legality of their decision to increase flights and are now awaiting feedback from the High Court.

 

It's not too late to take action, you can do so by sending your objection to Newham Council Planning Department, City Airport or our local MP. Visit the Fight the Flights website for more details on how to object and general information regarding the campaign.

 

Who needs Woolworth’s?

Andrews-stockOne of the great things about Wanstead is that we can get just about everything we need from our High Street. So when Woolworth's closed, some of our essential supplies disappeared overnight.

However, coming to our assistance as far as those little bits and
pieces that Woolies used to provide, are Andrews Builders' Merchant in
Woodbine Place and The Pet Shop.

Ricky Brown, who owns Andrews, has added some much needed household essentials to his stock; refuse sacks, light bulbs, cleaning materials, clothes airers and more.

Petshop The Pet Shop will be doing the same. Mas Beg and his doughty assistant Trevour are at this moment
rejigging the shelves to accommodate more such useful items. Trevour
tells us that they are open to suggestions and will always try to order
whatever is requested.

This is yet another example of how special it is to have our own small
shops. They are Wanstead’s equivalent of the U.S. cavalry galloping to
our assistance.

So before you jump into the car to Homebase, pop into these shops – you may be suprised to find everything you need is still right here in Wanstead.

Cultural carnage?

A piece of planning law is being revised – to ease the way for more controversial development. PPG15, which protected all historic buildings and heritage sites, is being replaced by PPS15 which does not.

What the new legislation plans to say is that places of archaeological, architectural, artistic or historic merit should be protected – unless the value to this and future generations is outweighed by the wider social economic and environmental benefits including climate change mitigation that will be delivered by the proposed development.

Seems reasonable? Conservationists and environment experts are worried. They feel this new wording offers a ready opening for local authorities and developers to argue that – for instance – a block of flats, a wind-farm, a multi-storey car park will yield more benefit to a community than, say, a grove of trees or a beloved old building. And they will be able to call on PPS15 – and bang goes our heritage.

So what could we lose in Redbridge? Take Wanstead. The Kinema has already come under threat and how long would the Police Police-stationStation and the old Fire Station in Wanstead Place survive? Conservation Areas like George Green could even be at risk from such a broad interpretation as “the wider social economic and environmental benefits including mitigating climate change.” Wanstead Park could house a wind farm for instance, Valentines Park could accommodate a sizeable estate.

Some of these examples may seem far-fetched now but a look at the list of Redbridge’s listed IMG_4844buildings reveals a number of familiar sites we should feel the poorer for losing – and brings home the cultural carnage which could take place under this planning amendment.