Lib Dem Group Leader Councillor Bob Sullivan was interviewed by the BBC on 7th January about the Lib Dem campaign to save Drapers Field.
Waltham Forest Council intends to rent the playing fields to the Olympic Delivery Authority for nearly two years, to concrete it over and use it for a laundry and storage area. This is despite the fact that Drapers Field is used by over 100,000 people a year and nearby Norlington School uses the playing fields four times a week for sports activity.
The council is so embarrassed about the situation that it stopped any filming in front of the Drapers Field sign.
“This shows that Labour just wants to sweep this issue under the carpet and avoid scrutiny of their decision. In the run-up to the Olympics we should encourage young people to take part in sport – not take away one of the few playing fields and open spaces in the area”.
Labour has still failed to come clean about their plans for Drapers Field after the Olympics. They say they will consult residents, although they talk about Drapers Field becoming a ‘super park’ there are also current plans which show housing on part of the grounds.
A report to the Leyton & Whipps Cross Community Council gave a clear picture of what is being planned by the Olympic Delivery Authority:
Proposed use of Drapers Field
It will become an Olympic Village Operations and Support Area – provision including catering support, laundry, deliveries and general maintenance.
There will will one main temporary tented structure in the centre, surrounded by smaller temporary buildings. The area will be surrounded by a 4.6 metre weld mesh fence.
Vehicle access from Temple Mills Lane.
This was scheduled to take place in November 2010. The Council has not said how far this will be circulated. The Liberal Democrat FOCUS Teams will make sure that local people are kept informed, and urge everyone to make their views known.
A formal planning application was expected in January 2011 – now delayed
September – December 2011:
The AstroTurf pitch, fencing and floodlighting will be removed. Existing topsoil will also be stripped and removed. Destroying facilities that have cost almost £1.5 million to provide, just over ten years ago.
Whole area will be covered in tarmac, temporary drainage and lighting installed.
January – May 2012:
Construction of temporary buildings etc.
May – October 2012:
Village Support Area in operation on a 24-hour basis.
October – December 2012:
Temporary facilities removed and site prepared for legacy works.
Delivery of legacy scheme commences.
There is no indication when the site will be made available for public use, or indeed what facilities will be restored.
Liberal Democrat Petition
Our petition to Save Drapers Field is still running. Liberal Democrat Councillor Bob Sullivan will be presenting it to the Planning Committee. You can sign up on line at:
Please encourage your friends and neighbours to support this historic site. Paper copies of the petition can also be printed if you would like to collect signatures to support the campaign.