Thursday, 19 July 2012

Gainsborough School Replacement Bridge

The LLDC (London Legacy Development Company) have applied for planning permission to build a bridge going from Wick Village barbecue area to (what will be) the playing fields across the canal. These fields will be created when the Olympic Catering Village is knocked down after the Games.

Planning application to ODA

Planning application to Hackney Council

This bridge would replace the previous bridge which went from Gainsborough School playground to Arena Fields. The bridge would allow the school to access the new playing fields, but the planning application asks for public access to be considered.

The land where the bridge will be built falls in both ODA (Olympic Delivery Authority) and Hackney Council planning areas. This means that the LLDC has made applications to the ODA and council and they will both have to agree if the bridge is to be built.

Our estate manager Andriy offered to collect responses from residents and thirty four out of the one hundred and twenty properties in Wick Village gave him letters with their opinions on the bridge. Every one of these responses were against the bridge being built in our communal area.

In summary residents don't want to lose their communal area, the trees would have to be cut down, they are worried about Wick Village becoming a public thoroughfare, increased litter and anti social behaviour. As a TMC we are respobsible for our own cleaning and maintenance, council cleaners do not come here.

There is also a question mark over the ownership of the land. Residents believed that they had purchased the land at auction from British Waterways in 1992, but the land was unregistered. In 2010 Hackney Council applied for adverse possession of the land (essentially squatter's rights). Until 2010 residents had sole use of the land, which is gated. In 2010 the ODA put a gate into the party wall with the school (without informing Wick Village TMC). This gate is now padlocked. The area is not currently safe for children to use. The ODA had promised Wick Village money to do it up, fix the wall by the canal and the loose electric wires where vandals pulled out the lights. This money was not given to Wick VIllage.

Residents would prefer for the bridge to go back into the school playground and public to use the new footbridge and the A12 bridge to access the Olympic Park. Residents feel they have already suffered greatly from the Olympics building site and the loss of Arena Fields, and that in the words of Val our Chair, 'This is a bridge too far'. 

Andriy's letter is below:

Other residents may have written directly to the planning teams and have different opinions on the matter, please let us know or comment below if you would like to have your say. 

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