Developers breaking planning conditions   
Hackney councillor writes to Natural England

From: Ian Rathbone (Cllr)
Sent: Fri 06/04/2012 4:45 PM
Cc: Deniz Oguzkanli (Cllr); Barry Buitekant (Cllr)
Subject: Planning consultation: 2011/1560 Formation of a temporary
basketball training venue

Dear Penny Dean,

Late last year your comments were requested by Arup on their proposal to build temporary basketball courts on Leyton Marsh. Their letter (6 October 2011 / ref:2011/1560) said they were building: 'temporary event structures that do not require foundation work... A skim of topsoil will be removed to enable the site to be completely level for the building installation and roadway construction. This soil will be stored on site to be used in the site reinstatement.'

It continues..

'Following the Olympic and Paralympic Games the site will be fully restored to its existing condition..'

Originally Arup proposed to skim off 15 cm of topsoil. They have now excavated 50 cm deep. No foundations were proposed but now the development has foundations.

The site received landfill from bombed factories and had been covered for seventy years. This landfill has been exposed and contaminants uncovered so far include lead and asbestos as well as an unexploded incendiary device.

You closed your response to Arup (22 December 2011 / ref:41774) with:
'Should the proposal be amended in a way which significantly affects its impact on the natural environment then, in accordance with Section 4 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006, Natural England should be consulted again.'

I was wondering if Arup had consulted with you again.

Our experience as local ward councillors is that there was indeed only going to be 'a skim' off the topsoil as described to us by Ove Arup staff at a meeting at Hackney Town Hall on November 15. I have been observing the site since construction began, including taking photos, and that is most definitely not what they are doing. See the attached photo of rubble piles. They have not taken any precautions in covering the mounds of contaminated matter or placed warning signs. It could be that people using the path along the Lea, alongside the site on Leyton Marsh will be affected by contaminents, along with local wildlife. What there is left of it after heavy lorries and diggers have made noise all day since construction began.

We are also concerned for the adjacent River Lea which receives run off from the site, and the SSI adjacent to the field.

Would you be able to investigate these aspects of the situation?

yours sincerely,

Cllr Ian Rathbone
Councillor for Leabridge Ward, Hackney

(Fri, 6 Apr 2012)

  Lea Marshes   Basketball project