Lea Bridge Gas Works Development – Council fails to stop toxic plans!

Stop the toxic Lea Bridge Gas Works Development

Local residents are horrified about the Council’s Planning Committee decision to agree the development of the old gas works site in Perth Road Leyton (for full information go to  (https://CBC-leabridge.co.uk).  The gas works land is full of dangerous toxic chemicals which not only get into the air but can contaminate the ground water. The developers, Berkeley Group, have a history of causing nearby residents serious health problems from their previous gas works development in Southall.

The gas works contamination threatens not only local residents but the children and families who use the adjacent Jubilee Park and the children of five schools in the area – Lammas, Willow Brook, Riverley, St Josephs and Sybourn.

A petition of over a thousand signatures objected to the plans and local residents argued at the committee that the plans should be rejected, but the voices of local people who live in the area were ignored.  They were shocked as all the Councillors overruled residents’ objections and voted in favour for the plans.  So much for listening to local people!

Lib Dem campaigner Bob Sullivan, who observed the committee on the internet, was astonished by the response of Councillors who knowing the history of the Berkerley Group gas works development in Southall, where residents had, and still are, suffering from major health problems still went ahead and voted for the toxic plans.

Bob says:  Please sign the petition below which now calls on London Mayor Sadiq Khan to reject the planning application. 


Children’s special needs budget – cut!

Parents and teachers last March were appalled and angry at the Council for cutting SEND, the funding for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

The Lib Dem Focus Team says:  We realise that money is short but cutting this budget is a particular nasty cut for some of our most vulnerable children, their families and schools.

New Ice Rink planned

Plans have been submitted to the Council to knock down the old ice rink in Lea Bridge Road and build a new Olympic sized double rink.  It will not only have two rinks for ice hockey, curling, ice dancing and, of course, the popular general skating but will include a gym, exercise studios, cafes and community spaces.

Bob Sullivan says:  My family and I, having used the rink for over 20 years, believe the plans should be supported as they are a lifeline for the ice rink which could be lost altogether. The new building will provide a magnificent community facility for both old and young and provide international skating events for all to enjoy. 

Council Tax Rise 2020

The Council Tax will rise just below 4% this year.  Any figure higher than this would force a referendum for residents to agree. The Council figure equates to about £66 a year increase for band D payers. Half of this amount will go to adult social care.  Business Rates have been postponed until next year.

Good News! Leyton Tube to become step-free

The Council and Transport for London have gone 50/50 for the £18 million to fund the expanded and step-free Leyton Tube Station.  The work is set to begin next August and open in March 2023.

The Lib Dem Focus Team say:  The proposed lifts between platforms and street level will enable disabled and older people to use the station and allow wheel chair users, who have been waiting a long time’ access as well.

Oliver Road Score Centre development – Who Gains?

The Council plans to demolish the Score Centre, the football pitches, the line of the magnificent Lombardy Poplar trees and the old Coronation Gardens annex.  Their plan is to develop 5 blocks of flats from 3 to 18 storeys.  Half are designated as ‘affordable’ (needing a household income from £60k to £100k – the average income for the area is less than £30k) and only 120 flats planned for social housing.  The rest of the flats will be part rent and part buy which is still probably ‘unaffordable’ for local people.

Lib Dem Focus member Bob Sullivan says:  Who gains? Not local people.  Mainly it will be the developers.  You would have thought that, as the Council owns the land, it would have given more of a chance to those families on the housing waiting lists to have a home.  However with only 120 being social housing and the others either shared or not ‘affordable’ their chance is very slim. Surprising as the Council, with a waiting list of thousands, has a housing policy as a top priority but not, it seems, for local people.

Oliver Road – congestion!

One of the pair of chicanes in Oliver Road causing concern

The Focus Team and local residents’ complaints that congestion has increased in Oliver Road and made worse by the chicanes in the road, has been rejected by the Council.  The Council say that there has been little or no increase in traffic over the years and they will only review the chicanes when the redevelopment of the Score Centre and Bywaters takes place.

Local Lib Dem Focus Team member Bob Sullivan says;” Those of us who live locally, know differently.  Now that side roads are blocked off the congestion is regular and the two chicanes produce massive traffic jams.  The council’s traffic engineers obviously don’t live in the area.

Council to destroy more trees!

The line of mature Poplar Trees that will be chopped down to build expensive flats

Trees are one of our best weapons against climate change so why does our Council, having signed a declaration of Climate Emergency, continue to allow developers to cut down hundreds of our trees?  The last Focus highlighted the wanton destruction of trees on the ‘pocket park’ on the corner of Orient Way and Lea Bridge Road.  Well they are planning to do it again.  The Oliver Road development opposite the Orient stadium includes the destruction of a line of 86 mature and magnificent Lombardy Poplars that are maybe 100 years old.

Bob Sullivan says: “In reply to my objection I was told that Taylor Wimpy, the developers, and the Council agreed that the retention of the Lombardy Poplars was not considered to be the best long-term outcome for the redevelopment. 

Surely cutting down our mature trees is not the answer to address the climate emergency.  Once again the Council continues to be the developers friend”.