Our position on Walthamstow Town Square Development and Housing policies

17 April 2018

Our position on Walthamstow Town Square development

We've been asked what our position is on the town square development, so we thought we'd make that position available on our website for all to see.

A number of our members have been involved in opposing and petitioning the development at different points in the campaign, and all candidates share this view, in response to a questionnaire that was sent to all candidates in Waltham Forest.

1. NO. we don't support the Mall and Town Square plans.
2. YES. we support a full council meeting to debate the development.
3. YES. we do agree with a residents' referendum.

4. YES. We think there should a moratorium on building tower blocks until the final report from the Grenfell fire safety review which is due shortly. 
5. YES. We agree that priority should be given to building homes for social rents.

At a national level, we say:

6. YES. we would support the repeal of the Housing and Planning Act 2016, which extended the "Right to Buy" legislation.
7. YES. we are opposed to the sale of council homes when such sales impact negatively on the provision and retention of social housing.

In addition to these specific points on housing and fire safety, we're also opposed on the grounds that while housing is necessary, we also need the infrastructure to support residents, by biuilding additional infrastructure if required. This development does not meet that requirement. There is also an issue of reducing public space, as well as environmental issues resulting from the cutting down of trees, and the possible increase of flash flooding caused by concreting more of the area.

Signed,

Ami Amlani (Cann Hall)
Glyn Roberts (Cathall)
Sue Wheat (Chapel End)
Miranda James (Chingford Green)
RoseMary Warrington (Endlebury)
Diana Korchien (Forest)
Deanna Donovan (Grove Green)
Liam Connor (Grove Green)
Roger Payne (Hale End and Highams Park)
Rosie Green (Hatch Lane)
Mick Holloway (Hatch Lane)
Rebecca Redwood (Hatch Lane)
Andrew Johns (High Street)
Louise Ashcroft (Higham Hill)
Steve Lambert (Hoe Street)
Robert Tatam (Larkswood)
Rachel Barrat (Lea Bridge)
Mark Dawes (Leytonstone)
Chris Lemin (Markhouse)
David Hamilton (William Morris)
Chris Olende (Wood street)

 

More information about these candidates can be found on our local elections website

Our housing policies in full for Waltham Forest and Redbridge

Council Housing

  • A vote for residents in all regeneration schemes - a condition of planning not just the Mayor’s funding.
  • Make all regeneration resident-led, with funding for expert support for residents to plan their own regeneration and people’s plans.
  • Commit to at least 65% affordable homes in any new council developments, with 50% at council rents.
  • No joint ventures or PFI schemes - council to run its own home-building projects and use private companies only as contractors, not developers squeezing profits from our plans.
  • Bring repairs and major works in house and run more efficiently for the public benefit. No costly PFI schemes or partnership deals with big firms who do a bad job.
  • Reform how council housing is run in the borough, with a much stronger voice for residents in decisions.
  • Make sure private renters in former right-to-buy homes on council estates are given full rights to be members of tenants’ and residents’ associations (TRAs).
  • Stop using property guardians in homes that are temporarily empty. Use these homes for temporary accommodation for homeless families instead.

Planning

  • Be firm on planning rules for affordable homes - and full transparency for all viability assessments.
  • Strengthen affordable housing targets in the new Local Plan to at least 65% to match the need in London, and make sure the definition of ‘affordable’ at 80% of market rates is abolished. All ‘affordable’ homes for rent must be either social rented or London Living Rent.
  • Prohibit ‘buy to leave’ and ‘buy to let’ investors from taking new homes away from Londoners, through lease conditions on developments that ensure homes are the primary residences of purchasers.
  • Find land and small sites for community-led housing and co-ops to build new homes. Give them long leases at low cost based on the public benefit they bring.
  • Support and encourage community-led co-housing schemes for older people to help them downsize from much-needed family homes.
  • Increase council tax to the maximum allowed for empty homes (currently 200 per cent) and campaign for this limit to be raised by the Government.

Renting

  • Crack down on bad landlords by funding more environmental health officers, and carrying out more enforcement work on landlords and letting agents. This is even more important as the ban on fees to tenants comes in.
  • Support the formation of a renters union with start-up funding and promotion.

Fire Safety

  • Full transparency for fire risk assessments (FRAs) in council homes.
  • Commit to fixing all outstanding fire safety issues identified in FRAs by 2020 at the latest.
  • nvest in building control staff to check works on all homes are carried out correctly without compromising safety.