15th March 2021
‘SAVE OUR PASTURES’ CAMPAIGN WELCOMES WALTHAM FOREST COUNCIL MOVE TO WITHDRAW REDEVELOPMENT PLANS
For the last six months, the ‘Save Our Pastures’ campaign has energised the Leytonstone community to oppose plans to replace the Pastures Youth and Sports Centre, Good Shepherd Building and their grounds in Davies Lane with housing.
Supported by highly visible posters in windows, extensive social media activity and a public petition, the campaign has sought to propose an alternative community-led approach for this significant and much-loved site.
In the belief that community spaces are needed now more than ever, the aim has been to encourage Councillors and Council Officers to work collaboratively with us to achieve the site’s potential. These include making the extensive facilities on the Pastures site the basis of a multicultural, social resource to meet the current and future needs of the local community, and a vibrant hub to engage and inspire young people.
Local Councillors, working with ‘Save Our Pastures’, recognised the unique nature of the site, its uses and constraints, as well as existing and requested future community provision.
‘Save Our Pastures’ is pleased to learn from local Councillor Clyde Loakes that following further feasibility reviews and discussions with Councillors and Council Officers from both Leytonstone and Cann Hall Wards, Waltham Forest Council has determined that it is unviable to take the proposed redevelopment forward. The current proposals have been withdrawn, subject to formal confirmation.
The shared vision that we will create with local businesses, organisations, residents and current and future site users will embrace the creative sector, community services, culture, education, sport, youth engagement, and business and employment support. It will be underpinned by a comprehensive and robust business plan.
This work will be undertaken within the context of recovery from the pandemic emergency; planned population growth in the south of the borough; and Waltham Forest Council’s Public Service Strategy priorities designed to encourage safe and healthy lives, promote the concept of ‘15-minute neighbourhoods’ and build confidence in our future.
‘Save Our Pastures’ will continue to oppose any inappropriate redevelopment and looks forward to formulating plans for the site that will enhance the area and support the aspirations of the community in Leytonstone and throughout Waltham Forest.
Save Our Pastures
9th Decemeber 2020
CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED TO SAVE ICONIC LEYTONSTONE YOUTH AND SPORTS CENTRE
Much-loved Pastures Centre threatened by redevelopment
Local residents have formed a campaign group to protect iconic buildings on the Pastures site in Davies Lane, Leytonstone, from proposed redevelopment by Waltham Forest Council.
The site has been identified for potential housing development, which would see the longestablished Pastures youth and sports centre demolished.
Waltham Forest Council claims that the centre is surplus to requirements but the ‘Save Our Pastures’ group have identified at least 26 community groups that had booked to use the indoor facilities at Pastures this year, and many more eager to use the large sports hall, social spaces and kitchen.
These include junior and adult football, badminton and basketball clubs, a number of faith and community organisations, and the Metropolitan Essex District Cricket Board. The gates have been locked since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The future of other buildings and the green space within the site is also uncertain. ‘Save Our Pastures’ commissioned a survey by a local conservation group which revealed a rich and varied ecology.
“We believe the buildings and site have long suffered from under-investment and lacked promotion to potential community users,” say the campaign group.
“With more effective and targeted promotion of the facilities and services available, the buildings and site should be the basis of a multicultural, social resource to meet the current and future needs of our local community, and a vibrant hub to engage and inspire young people.”
“Our Facebook page contains many stories from locals who value the part Pastures played in helping them grow up to be constructive members of society and want to see the excellent facilities used by young and old alike.”
The campaigners are heartened by new research undertaken by well-respected charity the Jack Petchey Foundation, which demonstrated the importance of bricks-and-mortar facilities to young people; and a recent interview with John Boyega, in which the iconic actor claimed that London needs more youth clubs.
The campaign group will shortly be unveiling a public petition, logo, banners and a website. They are already active on social media: you can find out more on Facebook and Twitter @SavePastures, and on Instagram @SaveOurPasturesE11.