Saturday 10th March 2pm Rally at Leyton Marsh

Local residents and Marsh users have come together to campaign against the decision to allow the Olympic Delivery Authority to build on the Marshes. Waltham Forest Council has granted planning consent to the Olympic Development Authority to build a temporary basketball training arena on Leyton Marshes. Work on the site has already begun preventing all public access to this area of common land between now and
the middle of October.

We are deeply concerned that this decision to build on Metropolitan Open Land will set a precedent making it much easier for developers to seek and gain consent to build on this important green space in the future. The Marshes are a vital local community resource, London’s Green Lung, that’s why it’s so important that we work together to protect the Marshes for everyone to use and enjoy.

The Olympics should be about improving the facilities we already have not denying people access to parks and open spaces. There are plenty of basketball courts in the East End which could be used to provide training facilities for Olympic athletes, the ODA should use those first before paving over our green space. The Games have been sold on the back of the legacy it promises to leave and yet we have already lost the entire East Marsh to a coach park and now we stand to lose Leyton Marsh as well. How much more open, green space must we give up for the Games?

Please Join us on Saturday! This is how you can actively participate.

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6 Responses to Rally

  1. Anthony Lowe says:

    Here is a copy of an email, which I have just sent to the Lea Valley Regional Park Authority (address is info@leevalleypark.org.uk – send more like this to them):

    Please forward this email to the appropriate officer(s) who deal(s) with security and liaison with park users:

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    As you are surely aware, large numbers of park users and local residents are very unhappy about the Park Authority’s handover of Leyton Marsh to the Olympic Authority, to build a ‘temporary’ basketball court. It is quite shocking how easily the Park Authority handed over this land, trampling on the rights and interests of ordinary people in favour of a corporate sporting event from which the local people are largely excluded. Given the huge amount of space already allocated to the Olympics (including corporate hospitality and Westfield shopping centre), most local people are amazed that you need to grab yet more public land in the Marshes area, in addition to the new coach park already in place. I would like to complain formally about this, and will soon be requesting related information under the Freedom of Information Act, so please provide me with the details of your lead Information Officer.

    In addition, I would like to complain about the deployment of 2 Park Authority dog units at last Saturday’s (10th March) protest at the Leyton Marsh site, by local residents and park users. I have been a local resident, and regular visitor to the park since moving into the area in 1999. In all of my visits to the park with my children, I have never seen a single dog unit. I have also never seen one of your officers openly carrying handcuffs. Whilst I do not doubt that these have existed for many years, I think you would agree that seeing all three at once, at the same place and time, is beyond coincidence.

    In view of the number of families with small children present, I saw the deployment of such resources as a deliberate attempt to provoke and intimidate the protestors – the implication being that small children who ‘trespassed’ into the new construction site would be met by an aggressive dog, trained to bite their arm and bring them down. Even without the presence of children, the idea that local people could be set upon by dogs for exercising their democratic right to protest is disgusting, from an Authority whose sole aim should be to promote public use and enjoyment of a valuable public space.

    Yours Faithfully,

    Anthony Lowe (Local resident and parent of 2 children – 11 and 7yo)

  2. Neil Prime says:

    Hi – came down to the protest today – first time I had seen the site and I was really shocked and depressed about the impact of the ill thought through proposal to build these ‘temporary’ structures. The impact on community activity and the lower Walthamstow SSSI marsh has clearly not been calculated. I am sure that there will be a big impact on the environment. I fully support the JR challenge. Incredibly grateful to those leading the campaign.

  3. Cornelia says:

    I’m so happy there are more voices out there taking a stand about this. I can see the bloody cranes from my window every day now. I can’t even dare to think about how they affect the wildlife next by.

    I used to love lying down on that open field after my runs around the marsh, now I don’t even feel like running anymore as I have to face that uglyness every time I pass it. 🙁

    Thank you for the flyer, I did not know the ODA received £165,000 for giving the land away. That’s criminal. A lot of my Clapton friends are away this Saturday, including me. Any chance for making this a two day protest so we can participate on Sunday?

    A bit of creative advice too if I way, why not make the Facebook group a Facebook page? It slows things down when people have to apply for membership. Make a campaign page where you simply can click ‘like’ to participate! Why not name it SAVE LEYTON MARSH just like this blog page?!

    In order to attract more people my feeling is both the blog and the Facebook page need to be easier to find. Maybe start a petition too?


    • pedroreyna says:

      That’s a brilliant idea! I recommend that you start it and distribute it. We need volunteers on every end.
      Many Thanks!

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