Petition launched against council’s masterplan for thousands of homes dubbed ‘Lea Valley Eastside’
Residents have the chance to contribute to a masterplan for new housing in the Leyton and Lea Bridge Road areas, as campaigners oppose its intrusion on protected open land.
Nearly 4,500 new homes are being planned over the next decade for several key development sites along a corridor of land between Lea Marshes and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Work has already started on some of these homes, with tower blocks being built opposite the newly opened Lea Bridge Station and a series of schemes under construction in Leyton, while planning permission is now being sought for others.
As well as homes Waltham Forest Council’s masterplan for the area, dubbed ‘Lea Valley Eastside’, includes new public spaces, schools, healthcare provision, and a potential new railway station at Ruckholt Road.
Improved public access to Leyton Jubilee Park and the creation of a new walking and cycling route alongside Dagenham Brook are proposed, while Markhouse Corner would be ‘reinvigorated’ for local shopping.
The focus of the masterplan in Leyton is a new neighbourhood in the area around Coronation Square and Leyton Orient’s Matchroom Stadium, together with ‘improving and intensifying’ development at Leyton Mills Retail Park.
Leyton’s existing Score Centre is proposed for demolition to make way for housing, with new leisure facilities instead being built nearby at Ive Farm, currently a derelict running track.
There is controversy surrounding some of the redevelopment areas, however, because they fall within protected green space designated as Metropolitan Open Land. Campaign group Save Lea Marshes has consequently launched a petition against the Lea Valley Eastside masterplan on the 38 Degrees website. It has so far gained more than 2,500 signatures.
The petition reads: “We are devastated to learn that Lea Valley Eastside involves re-zoning the large swathe of green open space around the WaterWorks Centre – part of Leyton marshes – for housing.
“This land is Metropolitan Open Land, which means it should be protected from all inappropriate development, just like green belt land. If these plans are approved, then the spectre of our marshes disappearing under high-rise tower blocks comes one step closer.”
The council says Lea Valley Eastside has the potential to create thousands of new jobs. Local people have until the end of January to contribute to the public consultation. There will also be a series of public exhibitions around the borough.
To view the plans for Lea Valley Eastside, for more information, and to contribute to the consultation:
To sign the Save Lea Marshes petition: