As suspected, there has been some elaborate buck passing between the LVRPA, Waltham Forest Council and the ODA about the incredibly poor state of restoration of Porter’s Field Meadow (Leyton Marsh) and the adjacent Sandy Lane.
After residents and SLM campaigners wrote to local Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy, she got in touch with them about the poor state of the waterlogged marsh where the monoculture turf is now rotting in places. Waltham Forest wrote back with this poor response which completely ignored the fact planning permission was granted (and the reinstatement plan approved) by that Council on the basis that the marsh was restored to its original condition on 15th October 2012. Stella emails 3
Despite the lip service paid to upholding the planning conditions, which they were responsible for overseeing, Waltham Forest Council now conveniently state that all “management and maintenance of the site” is a matter for the LVRPA.
The LVRPA, meanwhile, overseen by the appropriately named Dan Buck, claim that “the marshes are visited on a daily basis by the South Ranger Team who inspect and report back the snagging issues that remain to be resolved by the ODA including the works to Sandy Lane. The clear message that has been reported back to the ODA by Dan Buck is that Sandy Lane is still in a very poor condition and recent repairs are in no way acceptable. We will be continuing to press the issue and monitor the ongoing works until they are completed to a standard we are happy with.” To cut a long story short, the LVRPA blame the ODA for the poor works and imply that the responsibility lies with them.
So how do the Olympic Delivery Authority respond to complaints about the poor restoration? As seen in the previous email to local resident ‘Fabsternation’, the ODA claim “We have completed the reinstatement works in accordance with the specifications agreed with Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA) and Waltham Forest Council. Land on Porter’s Field used for the temporary basketball venue has now been handed back to LVRPA and an ongoing programme of maintenance, funded by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) is being agreed.” Along with Waltham Forest Council, the ODA are all to happy to pass the buck back to the LVRPA who they claim are “now responsible for the land and future enquiries should be addressed to them”
Which leaves the obvious question: who is responsible for actually addressing the multiple issues created by a wholly inappropriate construction and reckless and inappropriate reinstatement? It seems yet again, it is down to the community to try and save our marsh long-term whilst the authorities responsible play the blame game for far longer than anyone played basketball on Leyton Marsh.