Highams Park Forum
A group of local people all interested in the betterment of life in their area.

News (Current)




17Feb: Lake dam works consultation

 

News (Current)

For news archive, click here: News archive
You can also find more news by reading the latest minutes here: Minutes
 

17th February 2014
Lake dam works consultation event (Monday 24th Feb 2014)

The Forum received an email from The Corporation of the City of London (CoL) regarding proposed works to Highams Park lake, in particular the large earth dam at the southern end.

The email states that CoL is hosting a drop in event for residents to provide "further information and engagement" between 16:30 and 20:00 on Monday 24th February 2014 at the Joseph Clarke School, 31 Vincent Rd, London, E4 9PP. At this event, members of the design team, the contractor and representatives from the City of London will be available to show you the design proposals and answer any questions you may have. It will also be an opportunity for you to give further comments which CoL hope to feed back into the detailed design and construction planning.

These works have been mandated by central government to ensure that all lakes meeting certain criteria are able to cope with exceptionally heavy rainfall (a 1 in 10,000 year event) to avoid flooding. This has been on the table for some time and has not been specifically precipitated by recent weather events. CoL state that they have submitted a planning application for the dam improvement works and they expect it to be available to view on the London Borough of Waltham Forest website shortly.

This latest version of the plans shows the Scout's boathouse on the dam being retained, but the small car park being removed.

The CoL have published a newsletter giving more details of the proposals including a diagram of the proposed works. You can view it here:
Lake Works Newsletter February 2014

The email invites residents to contact CoL as follows:
If you have any further questions, please email: damsandponds@cityoflondon.gov.uk
or visit the City of London Website: CoL Highams Park Lake

 


10FEB: Signal Box - Good progress
 

 

10th February 2014
Signal Box - Good progress behind the scenes

If you've been following the long running story of the Signal Box (the building at the level crossing) you might be wondering what is happening behind those blank brick walls. The answer is: A lot! Dendale have been working hard on the interior of the box but since most of this work is invisible from the outside it might look like nothing is happening. This could not be further from the truth.

If you are new to this story, have a look at the item below dated 21st June 2013 to see what its all about.

The box, as handed over, was completely derelict inside. It had an earth floor at ground level and at first floor level there was only a rough floor with a hatch in it. And no staircase! To get to the upper floor you had to climb vertically up the remains of a frame that used to hold signalling equipment. All around was discarded rusty junk left over from when it was last used. It would have been nice if the junk comprised really interesting objects from an earlier period that we could have put on display, but they weren't. Think: "dirty stainless steel sink in a broken MFI unit" and you'll have the right picture in your mind...

And now... All the junk has been cleared out. A proper ground floor has been created and a staircase has been installed. Various structural repairs have been completed and rotten woodwork has been removed for replacement. The rear outside area is being tidied & prepared as a small courtyard garden. A number of other internal tasks are already in progress.

There is still much to be done internally, but its going well. Some external work has to wait until the railway has one of its scheduled weekend closures. [Apparently its not a good idea to climb an aluminium ladder next to the high voltage overhead lines when they are carrying current!].

If all goes according to plan, work should be complete in the middle of 2014.

We look forward to the Grand Unveiling! Watch this space. We'll keep you posted.

 

 


27JAN: HP Plan - Off to a flying start !
 

 

27th January 2014
The Highams Park Plan - Off to flying start !

On Friday 17th January 2014, the first General Meeting of the Highams Park Planning Group took place. The meeting was extremely well attended (the venue, All Saints Church Hall, was full), and this formally marks the start of the project.

Those of you who have been following this story will know that Highams Park has received a 20k grant from central government to help residents create a plan for the future, covering all aspects of life in Highams Park. This plan will be created by the residents for the residents. A launch event was held 16th November 2013 to explain the idea and ask residents if they would be prepared to be involved. The group of residents organising the event were overwhelmed by the level of support (around 400 people attended the launch event). Well over 300 residents signed up to be members of the planning group, offering to participate at various levels, depending on their availability.

The next step was to create a formal body to create the plan. This was the purpose of the General Meeting on 17th January. The meeting unanimously approved:
a) a constitution for the group and
b) the boundary around Highams Park which defines the area which the plan will cover.

The meeting then unanimously elected a Coordinating Committee of 11 members (incl. Chair, Deputy Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer).

The main work of the group will be performed by 11 Topic Working Groups. Each made up of a number of members interested in a specific topic. These groups were agreed at the end of the General Meeting and attendees signed up for roles in one or more groups. They then agreed the dates and times of their first meetings. The creation of the plan has truly started !

The Planning Group has its own section of this website, here: The Highams Park Plan
Please follow that link for more information. New members wishing to get involved are always welcome. Please get in touch with the group via the contact details on their page.

 

 


26JAN: Farmers' Market to continue
 

 

26th January 2014
Farmers' Market to continue after success of trial

The Farmer's Market has set up at the station (on the 4th Sunday in the month) four times since October. These four initial sessions were planned as a trial to see how it went. We are pleased to see that the experiment has been deemed a success by the organisers and the market will continue into 2014 (on the 4th Sunday of each month).

The dates for the market are (10am - 3pm) :
23rd February
23rd March
27th April
25th May
22nd June
27th July

For more details please contact the organiser, Mike Allen on 01245 348 335
or email: contact@essexfarmersmarkets.co.uk
or visit their website: www.essexfarmersmarkets.co.uk

 

 


03JAN: New rolling stock for Chingford to Liverpool St line
 

 

3rd January 2014
New rolling stock for Chingford to Liverpool St line

A Forum member has drawn our attention to an interesting article on the "TransportXtra" website. It would appear that our railway will be getting new rolling stock in 2015. This is a byproduct of TfL taking over the line (see news item for 6th July 2013 below). The text of the TransportXtra article reads as follows:

Transport for London is planning to procure 30 new electric multiple unit (EMU) trains to replace 30-year old EMUs operating on the inner suburban West Anglia train services (Enfield Town, Cheshunt via Seven Sisters, and Chingford), which will transfer to TfL's management in 2015. The procurement is likely to be combined with that for EMUs for the Barking-Gospel Oak line, which is to be electrified.

Source link: TransportXtra Web Page

 

 


19OCT: Farmers' Market to commence Sunday 27th Oct 2013
 

 

19th October 2013
Farmers' Market to start in Highams Park on Sunday 27th October 2013

A brand new farmers' market is opening in Highams Park from the end of October, thanks to a campaign from local people to bring fresh local produce to the area, and help boost local trade.

The first monthly Highams Park Farmers' Market will take place in the NCP Car Park at Highams Park Station (alongside The Avenue) from 10am - 3pm on Sunday October 27, and subsequent markets will take place on the fourth Sunday of every month.

The market follows the success of the Farmers' Market in North Chingford, where the local community also successfully campaigned to bring a market to the town.

The market is the result of Mike Allen, new owner of Essex Farmers' Markets, working closely with the London Borough of Waltham Forest, the Highams Park Forum and local Councillors Cllr Darshan Sunger, Cllr Sheree Rackham and Cllr Paul Braham. Mike is optimistic that the market will replicate the success of the North Chingford Market, where trade has been consistently busy. "We hope the Highams Park market receives the same level of support to make the market a real success."

"Along with Farmers' Market staples such as free range eggs, fresh bread, fresh fish, locally produced meat, fruit and vegetables, visitors will also find a fabulous selection of free range chicken, freshly made pies, curry sauces, cheese, olives, plants and flowers, honeys and jams, and of course cakes and other delicious baked treats - all high quality produce, with an emphasis on local. Everything on sale can be traced back to its source and the quality is superb. The prices are very reasonable too and many of the stallholders encourage customers to try before they buy."

Mike adds, "The important thing about Essex Farmer's Markets has always been about bringing great quality local produce to local people - it will be no different at Highams Park and we hope local people will show their support."

Highams Park Farmers' Markets 2013-14 dates - 4th Sunday Monthly
Sunday 27 October
Sunday 24 November
Sunday 22 December
Sunday 26 January

For more details please contact Mike Allen on 01245 348 335 or email contact@essexfarmersmarkets.co.uk

 

 


06JUL: TfL to take over Chingford to Liverpool St line
 

 

6th July 2013
TfL to take over Chingford to Liverpool St line

We understand that Transport for London is to take over the Chingford to Liverpool Street rail line by 2015. This is potentially very good news. One commentator said: "From 2015 you may start getting nicer stations, better trains and more frequent services". It would be hoped that this will also resolve the fare anomaly experienced by Pay As You Go Oyster passengers where they pay a different fare (usually more) from Highams Park (zone 4) than normal TfL zone 4 stations.

Details of the announcement can be found on the BBC news website here: BBC News Report

 

 


21JUN: Signal Box future secure
 

 

21st June 2013
Signal Box future secure

The Forum received some great news today. After more than 10 years of effort and campaigning, the future of the iconic signal box at the level crossing is finally secure. It will soon be refurbished, put to good use, and will open to the public on special open days.

It was back in 2002 that Network Rail switched control of the level crossing to the Liverpool Street Station control centre and no longer required the signal box to house the operator. The box was scheduled for demolition on 3rd March 2002. With one week to spare, the Forum (with the assistance of MP Iain Duncan Smith) managed to get a stay of execution and formed The Highams Park Signal Box Association to manage the future of the box.

Since that time, numerous attempts by the Association to establish a practical, properly funded, long term use, have come to nothing for a variety of practical reasons. Today sees the end of the story. Dendale Construction Ltd (based in Highams Park) with the full approval of the Association and the Forum have just signed a long lease with Network Rail to refurbish the box and use it sympathetically as an office/show room. They specialise in the repair and refurbishment of period buildings so are ideally placed to take on this task.

Dennis Swain of Dendale, stated today that they hope to begin work in the following months to "create a great new facility that will remain a legacy & iconic landmark for Highams Park." He continues: "... the improvement & repairs that will be carried out to this building will demonstrate how we can turn a difficult & expensive refurbishment project on a derelict & neglected building into a modern, iconic premise. The works will be a sympathetic & high quality refurbishment, intended to retain the original features & statement that this Railway Signal Box represents for Highams Park and I am proud to be involved."

The Forum and the Association will enthusiastically liaise with Dendale as the works proceed.

 

 


16MAY: Updated Blue Plaque.
 

 

16th May 2013
Johnny Dankworth blue plaque updated - Ceremony

An updated Blue Plaque was unveiled on Monday (13th May) on the former home of the late jazz musician Sir John Dankworth (Aka "Johnny") in Highams Park. The ceremony was attended by members of his family including his wife Cleo Laine. The link below displays the article in the Waltham Forest Guardian describing the event and the second link runs a short Youtube video of the unveiling.

Read more about it here: WF Guardian article
Short Youtube video of the ceremony: Youtube video

 

 


04Apr: Regal to get a new owner.
Photo: As it was in 1911
as The Electric Theatre.
 

 

4th April 2013
The Regal gets a new owner

A report in the Waltham Forest Guardian states that the old Regal Cinema is to get a new owner. The article states that the premises will be used as offices for a local business.

Read more about it here: WF Guardian article

 

 


10Jan: New Farmers Market for Station Road, North Chingford
 

 

10th January 2013
New Farmers' Market in North Chingford

We understand that a new farmers' market (run by Essex Farmers Markets) will be starting on Sunday 13th January 2013 and will be open between 10.00 am and 3.00pm.

There will be approx 20 stalls including meat, wet fish, veg and bread and will be on the wide pavement between Buxton Rd and Willow St in Station Road, North Chingford.

 

 


10Jan: Fixmystreet website

 

10th January 2013
Fix my street website

A resident has drawn our attention to an interesting Website. Its called "Fix My Street" and it enables people to easily report problems they spot around the local area. It is independent of LBWF and enables people to see what problems have been reported in the area and which have been dealt with. Copies of reports lodged with the website are instantly sent to LBWF to be resolved.

All sorts of issues can be reported: fly-tipping, damaged pavements, blocked drains etc.

You can try putting in your postcode and see what people have reported near you.

Here is a link to the site:
www.fixmystreet.com/

 

 


29NOV: 15 minutes free parking arrives
 

 

29th November 2012
15 minutes free parking arrives

Our local councillors and the Highams Park Forum have long campaigned for "15 minutes free parking" in the chargeable roadside parking bays in the centre of Highams Park. The idea was to assist local shops by making it easier for "drive-by shoppers" to pop in on their journeys'. The realisation of this has been a (very) long saga over several years, but has now come to fruition.

Cllr Sheree Rackham emailed the Forum yesterday with the good news:

I am pleased to announce that the 15 minute free parking scheme in the existing parking bays in Highams Park that Cllrs Darshan Sunger, Paul Braham and myself have been trying to introduce since we were first elected has now gone ahead and is now operational.

Laminated notices have been attached to the parking bay signs and explain the change in rules. These notices are purely temporary and will be replaced by new permanent signage in due course.

Anyone who has been following this matter via the Forum's minutes will have seen how an apparently simple request can be more complicated than you imagine. For example: The new regulations mean a larger sign. The new (larger) sign would be at a level where people could bang their heads. This means that the poles need to be dug up to be replaced by taller poles. These poles need to be paid for etc. etc. The Forum has witnessed the tireless efforts of our local councillors in meeting after meeting trying to move the project forward over a series of frustrating obstacles.

 

 


08NOV: CPZ/Parking Permits
Rejected by poll
 

 

8th November 2012
CPZ / Parking Permits - Rejected by poll

The results of the voting on the proposed Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ or Residents' Parking Permits) for Highams Park have been announced. Voting closed on 5th November and to quote Cllr Loakes:

...with a 43% turnout which is very high. Overall it was 36% in favour and 64% against if we take the whole area...

We understand that all roads voted against except three which were narrowly "For" (by one or two votes) and two roads were tied. Prior to the vote it had been suggested by council officers that even if the overall vote was negative then if a group of roads voted "For" it might be possible to implement a small CPZ just covering the "For" roads. However, to quote Cllr Loakes again:

As a result of there being no real identifiable area in support of a CPZ being introduced, it is not proposed to progress with a CPZ in the Highams Park area, as a result of this exercise.

People have been impressed by the high level of voting, ensuring that the result is properly representative of residents' views. In some roads the percentage voting was extremely high. For example in Coolgardie Avenue, 75% of households voted.

 

 


27Oct: Revised proposed boundary no longer splits Highams Park

 

27th October 2012
Revised proposed boundary no longer splits Highams Park

In September 2011 the Boundary Commission published proposals for consultation for new Parliamentary Constituency boundaries for the election of MPs. The recommendations are due to be put before Government in 2013 (for the expected 2015 General Election). The changes proposed in 2011 split Highams Park across two constituencies and joined Edmonton to Chingford. A item on this website's News page dated 16th September 2011 explains that proposal and also explains the existing constituency boundaries.

Numerous residents responded to the consultation, pointing out the problems. As a result, a new proposal has been put forward by the Commission and they are seeking comments by 10th December 2012. This new proposal is a significant change from the original and now has the whole of Highams Park in one constituency. A map showing the proposed boundary for the "Chingford" constituency can be seen by clicking this link (be patient, it can be slow to load):
New proposed boundary

Full details of all the proposed changes can be found here:
Boundary Commission website

 

 


12OCT: CPZ/Parking Permits
Here we go again!
 

 

12th October 2012
CPZ / Parking Permits - Here we go again!

The Forum has been advised that Council Officers plan to consult some of the residents of Highams Park regarding the possible introduction of a Controlled Parking Zone in the area (AKA - Residents Parking Permits). This will be the fourth time such a consultation has been performed. Previous consultations took place in 2001, 2003 and 2008. In each of these previous cases the proposal was rejected by residents (albeit narrowly in some cases).

The proposed zone covers only part of Highams Park and from the attached documents it is not totally clear as to whether the consultation will be extended to residents outside the zone.

The Forum has debated the subject on numerous occasions and these discussions revealed that the subject is more complex than it first appears. The benefits are easy to see but the downsides are not necessarily immediately obvious. For example:

- Purchasing a permit does not guarantee a parking place.
- Parking capacity in a road can actually be reduced by the scheme. Residents who currently park across their own driveways will not be permitted to do so even if they have a permit so they have to park elsewhere, taking a space.
- Visitors will need to find somewhere to park, go to their friends house, obtain enough visitor's parking permits for the number of hours they are planning to stay, and then go back to their car (wherever they parked it) to display the permits. Same for tradesmen.
- More front gardens could be lost by encouraging people to pave over their gardens for parking

Residents will need to read the documents fully and think very carefully, weighing up the pros and cons before voting one way or the other.

NOTE: The decision will be based on a simple majority of the views of those who respond to the consultation. No assumption will be made as to the views of those who don't respond. It is therefore very important that as many residents as possible send in responses so the result (whatever it is) is a true reflection of all residents.

The deadline for responses is Monday 5th November 2012.

Links to copies of the 3 consultation documents are given below:

The consultation letter (contains the details and costs to residents)
The map of the consultation area
The council document where the idea was put forward. [Sorry, need to rotate to read]

 

 


17Sep: Tesco Jobs Press Release

 

17th September 2012
Tesco Press Release re Jobs

Tesco today issued a press release regarding its recruiting campaign . All job posts have now been filled. You can read the press release here: Tesco Press Release

 

 


07Sep: Tesco Opening Details

 

7th September 2012
Tesco Opening Details

At last night's Community Ward Forum meeting in Longshaw Primary School, Tesco representatives attended to answer questions and to brief residents on the forthcoming opening of the new store in Highams Park. Listed below are some of the points covered:

- The store will open for the first time at 8am on Thursday 4th October 2012.
- The normal opening hours will be 6am to midnight each day except Sunday which is 11am to 5pm.
- Car park has 350 spaces on two levels (basement and ground floor).
- Car park can be used free for 3 hours (even if not shopping in Tesco).
- This was originally just 2 hours but has been extended to 3 hours following consultation.
- Security staff will patrol the perimeter of the store and the car park 24hours a day.
- There will be 4 large delivery lorries per day plus some smaller trucks/vans.
- They will consult on changing early deliver time for fresh produce.
- Tesco have appointed one of their staff (Claire) as "Community Champion".
- She has 20hrs a week allocated to assisting local people/charities with projects.
- Tesco can be approached for community support via councillors.
- The store will provide 210 jobs (mixture of full and part time).
- Aim is to give the jobs to local people.
- Job applicants should get an application form from Unit 3, James Yard, Larkshall Road.
- Store is primarily Grocery orientated plus a Costa Coffee shop. Small sections for other goods.
- 14 houses and 80 flats are complete and people are moving in.
- 18 flats above the front of the store will become available next month.
- A further 141 houses and flats will become available in stages, completing November 2013.
- There are 10 retail units of which half are now taken.

In response to a suggestion from Cllr Sunger, the store manager stated that he would be prepared to let local groups use their meeting/training rooms.

Attendees again raised the problem of Traffic problems. Response was:
- Some Section 106 money has been retained to adjust traffic management measures based on experience post opening.
- Tesco plan to monitor traffic post opening and will talk to network rail about the possibility of optimising level crossing barrier closures.
- Councillors will meet regularly with Tesco in the period following the opening to ensure any evolving issues are dealt with.

 

 


05JUL: Highams Park to Stratford rail link?

 

5th July 2012
Highams Park to Stratford rail link?

A report has been published proposing expansion of the rail services in the Lea Valley. It includes the reopening of Lea Bridge Station and the creation of a link between the Chingford - Liverpool Street line and Stratford. Readers may know this later proposal as "The Hall Farm Curve", the section of embankment south-west of St James Street station which would be the site of new track to link the two existing lines.

But don't hold your breath, the timetable in the report recommends: "2016: Initial stance on project priorities in 2019-24, incl case for Chingford-Stratford".

If you'd like to read the full report you can download it as a PDF document by using the link below. It consists of 24 well set out and colourful pages and the section on Chingford-Stratford is towards the end.

Lea Valley Rail report

 

 


20Jan: Changes to library hours

 

20th January 2012
Changes to library hours announced

Starting on Monday 23rd January 2012 the opening hours of Hale End Library (Highams Park's library in Castle Ave) will be as follows:

Hale End library
Monday CLOSED
Tuesday 10am - 6pm
Wednesday 10am - 6pm
Thursday CLOSED
Friday 10am - 6pm
Saturday 10am - 4pm
Sunday CLOSED

For more details and for details of the opening hours of the other LBWF libraries then click here: LBWF - Libraries

If you've been following the debate on library hours throughout 2011 you will remember that residents were consulted by the library service as to which of three patterns of opening hours they preferred. The three patterns were denoted as A, B and C. The pattern that has been adopted matches none of these patterns but is probably closest to "B" which was the most popular choice.

 

 


16Sep: Proposed boundary changes split Highams Park

 

16th September 2011
Proposed boundary changes split Highams Park

The Boundary Commission has published (13SEP11) its proposals for new Parliamentary Constituency boundaries for the election of MPs. The recommendations are due to be put before Government in 2013 (for the expected 2015 General Election) and the Commission is requesting comments on the proposals by 5th December 2011. The changes impact Highams Park.

The timing of the release of the proposals means that the Forum has not yet had a chance to debate them at a meeting. The comments below are just some initial observations.

Parliamentary Constituencies are formed by grouping together a number of wards. The boundary of what we consider to be Highams Park does not fall neatly along ward boundaries. Instead it is contained, to varying extents, within 4 wards:
1) Hatch Lane Ward (HL)
2) Larkswood Ward (LW)
3) Hale End and Highams Park Ward (HEHP)
4) Chapel End Ward (CE)

The groupings (current and proposed) are (using the ward abbreviations shown in brackets above):

CURRENT constituencies
(HL)+(LW)+(HEHP) = Chingford and Woodford Green. Sitting MP = Iain Duncan Smith
(CE) = Walthamstow. Sitting MP = Stella Creasy

This means that, currently, nearly the whole of Highams Park is within one constituency, the exception being a small area south of the River Ching in Winchester Road in (CE) ward.

PROPOSED constituencies
(HL)+(LW) = Chingford and Edmonton
(HEHP)+(CE) = Walthamstow

This means Highams Park will be split across two constituencies. For example, the station will straddle the constituencies, with the northbound platform in one constituency and the southbound platform in the other. Whether this split is a problem or an opportunity will doubtless be the subject of debate.

The grouping of the Chingford wards with Edmonton wards also seems a little arbitrary especially since the Commission's own document states: "In considering how to group London boroughs, we noted that the River Lee forms a natural boundary".

[The relevant maps and report were originally posted here but have been removed because they have been superseded. See entry for 27th October 2012 above for newer versions.]

 

 


07Sep: Tesco Nuggets from CWF meeting

 

7th September 2011
Tesco nuggets from CWF meeting

The following nuggets of information were gleaned from a presentation by Tesco representatives at last night's (6th Sept) Community Ward Forum meeting. Those residents not present may be interested. In no particular order:
- 1st social/affordable housing will be handed over January 2012
- Homezone housing will be complete March 2012
- Store will open late 2012
- If PCT is not taken forward (due to NHS changes) 800k will go to LBWF for health spending
- Home delivery service will not operate out of the store, so no additional vehicle movements
- On a peak day there will be 4-5 articulated lorry deliveries to the store
- A lot of vehicle movements will take place during the excavation of the store's basement car park
- The car park will allow 3 hours free parking even if not shopping in Tesco
- There are expected to be 200 new jobs in the store. Priority will be given to local people.

 

 


02SEP: Highams Park wins planning grant

 

2nd September 2011
Highams Park wins 20,000 grant to develop Neighbourhood Plan

Highams Park has been selected as one of a small number of communities in the UK to receive a grant to assist residents (in conjunction with council officers) in being the first to develop a Neighbourhood Plan. This is part of a central government initiative to give local communities more control of the planning process in their areas.

LBWF submitted a bid for Highams Park to receive the funding and the submission was endorsed by the Highams Park Forum and the Highams Park Society. One of the key drivers in Highams Park being chosen for the bid was the existence of a very active base of residents who could participate in the building of the plan.

The Communities & Local Government website has just announced that Highams Park has been successful with its bid. More details can be read here: www.communities.gov.uk/news/corporate/1975278

 

 


20Jun: Deliveries of local grown fruit & veg to start in Highams Park

 

20th June 2011
Deliveries of local grown fruit & veg to start in Highams Park

OrganicLea is a local workers co-op growing fruit and veg on a not-for-profit basis. They have just announced that they plan to start deliveries in Highams Park. The organisation is based in Chingford and Walthamstow and volunteering opportunities available.
Their information sheet states:

FRESH = LOCAL = ORGANIC
Fruit and Vegetables
Delivered locally every week?

A bag of produce chosen for your budget and family size, grown organically, often here in Waltham Forest. Prices start at 4 a week, more info at www.organiclea.org.uk

Interested?
Email box@organiclea.org.uk
or call 020 8558 6880 and tell us you're from Highams Park. Thank You! Speak to you soon!

 

 


16Jun: Major works planned for the lake

 

16th June 2011
Major works planned for Highams Park Lake

A forum member noticed an interesting passage in the Epping Forest staff newsletter dated May 2011. The article reads as follows:

***** Start Quote ******
Highams Park Lake
Following the Panel Engineer's visit there are going to be major works to the Highams Park Lake area over the next 3 years. Highams Park has been upgraded to a Category A Reservoir, which means that flooding at the site has the potential to cause deaths. We would like to ensure that any work undertaken is sensitive to the Repton landscape, which is a Red Book Landscape. The existing dam will need to be raised and it will no doubt prove to be a challenge to do this sympathetically to the Repton landscape.

***** End Quote ******

The dam referred to is the large earth/gravel bank in front of the boathouse. This was installed by landscape architect Humphrey Repton in the late 1700's to artificially create the lake.

The Forum will try to find out more and try to ensure residents get the chance to have their say on any changes.

 

 


21Apr: 1st Dual Community Ward Forum
(Photo: Sunrise over Highams Park)

 

21st April 2011
Dual Community Ward Forum in Highams Park

The news item dated 20NOV10 below describes how Community Ward Forums have replaced Community Councils. These meetings are an opportunity for residents to get together with councillors and council officers to discuss plans, strategy and problems at a very local level.

Most Community Ward Forums are being held for the residents of just one ward. An exception is being made in Highams Park as the councillors of the two main wards of Highams Park thought it would be helpful to have one meeting for the two wards.

As a result the first Community Ward Forum for Hale End and Highams Park ward + Hatch Lane ward will take place as follows:
Tuesday 24th May 2011, 7pm - 9pm
Highams Park School, Handsworth Avenue, Highams Park, E4 9PJ

Each ward has a 10k fund to spend on projects nominated by residents. The Community Ward Forums will decide how this money will be spent.

It is rather unfortunate that there is now considerable scope for confusion with the Highams Park Forum bearing a name similar to this Community Ward Forum. We will need to be careful in using the term "The Forum" since this will be ambiguous in future.

 

 


21APR: New ZigZag for Nursery

 

21st April 2011
New Zig Zags in Handsworth Avenue

The Forum recommended to the council via ward councillors that yellow zig zag lines should be added to Handsworth Avenue outside the Nursery. Following a period of public consultation these were added yesterday (20th April). See photo (left). It is hoped that this will add to the safety of youngsters travelling to and from the nursery by discouraging thoughtless parking

 

 


21APR: BT Fibre rollout started

 

21st April 2011
Fibre Optic Broadband rollout started

We reported in a news item dated 9th November 2009 that Highams Park had been chosen for a Super Fast Broadband Trial using "Fibre To The Premises" technology (FTTP), where fibre optic cables are run all the way into homes and businesses instead of using traditional copper cables. This approach removes the technical limitations associated with providing fast broadband over copper. (See that news item for more details.)

BT have now started to officially market this technology to customers under the brand name "BT Infinity". We understand that Highams Park exchange is in the process of being upgraded for this and it will soon become generally available. The following website enables people to check availability and register interest (consumers or small business):

http://www.productsandservices.bt.com/consumerProducts/displayTopic.do?topicId=29023

Unfortunately the exchange boundary straddles the North Circular Road and chunks of Highams Park proper may not be covered initially.

 

 


11Mar: Interesting change to recycling arrangements

 

11th March 2011
Interesting change to recycling arrangements

The Forum understands that some interesting developments are underway that change the method by which household recycling will be collected.

From Monday 11th April 2011, recycling materials will not need to be sorted, either by residents or by operatives at the kerbside. Sorting will take place later in a factory setting. This brings a number of advantages: faster progress of the collection lorry, less mess, and better quality sorting.

In October 2011 green recycling wheelie bins will be introduced. Residents should continue to use the normal black boxes until then.

 

 


03Feb: Tesco development to go ahead

 

3rd February 2011
Tesco development to go ahead

Back in 2003 Tesco started the process of applying for planning permission to redevelop the former C&A site on Larkshall Road near the level crossing. In the intervening years there have been objections, appeals, revisions to plans, and complete redrawing of plans. But now the Forum understands that the saga has finally reached a conclusion. In the past few days LBWF and Tesco have signed documents that mean that the development will finally go ahead.

Given the long running nature of this application, readers could be forgiven for forgetting exactly what this development will look like. If you want to refresh your memory, the following link points to a website, set up by Tesco, which shows the plans: www.highamsgreen.co.uk

Council officers have produced a two page briefing note for councillors which summarises what has been agreed. The Forum received a copy of this today and it can be read by clicking this link: Briefing Document

The Forum has tracked the progress of the Tesco planning applications since day 1. The Forum was never against the principle of a Tesco development on the site, but believed that any development should be of a scale appropriate to Highams Park and that it should enhance the shopping centre rather than harm it. The early plans for the site failed on both counts: a huge ugly store, badly integrated into the centre, and having a major impact on the adjacent housing. The latest plans (though still too large in the Forum's opinion) are a massive improvement over the earlier plans and the Forum is pleased that its activities (in conjunction with other campaigners) contributed to the improvements in the plans we see today.

The Forum will continue to monitor this development and will seek to maximise the benefit of the development to Highams Park whilst minimising the downsides.

 

 


28Jan: Pothole reporting for techy types

 

28th January 2011
Pothole reporting for techy types

We are informed by council officers that they appreciate residents' help in reporting potholes to them. They say that residents are their eyes and ears; if they don't know the potholes are there then they can't do anything about them. Council officers consider a pothole to be significant and deserve urgent attention if it is 40mm or more deep.

You can of course report them to Waltham Forest Direct, but if you are of a techy persuasion then you might be interested in a phone app to do it! The relevant links are below:
Explanation here: www.theregister.co.uk/2011/01/27/iphone_app_pothole_spotter
iPhone app here: www.fillthathole.org.uk/iphone
 

 

 

 


For older news, click here: News in 2010
For news archive, click here: News archive
 

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