Monday, 16 February 2009

Arena Fields - Where's my Legacy Dude?!

These are screen-grabs (thanks soooOOOOO very much Steve!) from the Olympic Legacy Masterplan. The full caption reads:
Illustrative Masterplan - an expression of how the legacy masterplan framework
could be interpreted (!)

As you can all see - the promised return of the playing fields opposite Leabank Square appears to be behind a row of terraced houses. I wonder how we are meant to interpret that?

What does it all mean? Is it that Hackney Council has given permission to turn over the planning consent for Arena Fields from 'an area of employment' to one where there are going to be residential areas?

Does it mean that the kids from Gainsborough School are going to cross over their new replacement footbridge - and then through a residential estate - before getting to their replacement playing fields?

Does it mean that we are no longer going to have a Chinese University opposite us?

Does it mean that if Hackney Council fight the planning application - that we'll get a 5 storey storage warehouse - as a place of employment?

The most infuriating thing about the Legacy Masterplan - is that there is nothing concrete. It is still very vague and 'interpretish'.

But - hey Leabank Square - let's start interpreting it anyway.........


Anonymous said...

Why can't the houses be sited just behind the green?

Gainsborough School/Leabank Square → canal → tow-path → bridge ramps → playing fields → terraced houses.

That way - the teachers can see the playing fields. That way - we get a tiny bit of Arena Fields back on the waterfront.

Surely the terraced houses will be worth even more with a bit of green in front of them - and then the canal?

I'm sure the whole reason for them being sited here is for the LDA/ODA to get some of the money they spent back.

How's that for an interpretation?


Anonymous said...

Hello Sóna

This is such nonsence!! Where is our promised bit of Arena Fields opposite Leabank?!

Please tell me this isn't the final decision? Do we have to start fighting, screaming, getting visits from the ol' bill again?

I knew they were going to shaft us about the green!!


Anonymous said...

Hey Dude!!

How the hell did Steve get this image?! I have been searching the site for this kind of view, and I gave up after 2 days!

Thanks Steve!

So what are we gonna do Dude? This is simply not acceptable. Bearing in mind what Su says about the police, we still need to make our voices heard LOUD & CLEAR!!

We were promised a playing feild opposite us as part of the legacy. Now we have more houses?

Let's meet up on Sunday for a chat. Anyone else?


Anonymous said...

Hey guys I need help, I'm afraid I'm not smart enough to be able to interpret this picture properly…

You see, what I'm looking at here makes me think of a scrambled blueprint for the infamous H block in Northern Ireland's Maze prison… and yet… isn't it meant to be "Parkland"?

If so, the land of the park seems to have shrunk to the size of 2 tennis courts squeezed inside a large penal complex, in which case, I guess that makes it the exercise yard.

Is it just me, or can anyone else already hear the words softly saying; "Welcome! Pensioner cell block-H"?

Anonymous said...


We need to focus now. Please find out from Julie King just who it is that we need to start engaging with about the legacy.

She may not know - as it's strictly the LDA's job - but she might have a short cut for us to someone's desk.

We all need to meet to set up a MASSIVE campaign group whose main focus is to change the LDA's mind about the siting of this green.

I've set up a meeting with the governors of Gainsborough for next week (details to follow - it might have to be in your flat again) - in order to make the campaign residential/educational/environmental/local.

There is still enough time to make them change their plans - but we do need to start now!

Mr Black

Anonymous said...

Not so clever Hackney Council will probably not even consider that area of land is more likely to flood as per the recent Environment Agency's constant letters & warnings. We never got flood warnings before the Olympic site existed!!

Anonymous said...

Great point Zoulla

Maybe they should just revert it back into open park land again!

Please Sóna - we have GOT to resist this building directly opposite us!! The top building with those 4-5 story blocks will be an absolute nightmare!!

Remember all those years ago when we all wrote to prescott about Arena Fields? Do you think this is what he was holding back on all this time?

Please - get everyone together to start a highly active campaign against this catastrophe!!


Anonymous said...

Hi Sóna

Remember back to the second or third Olympic presentation in The Old Baths?

Remember how they said that Gainsborough would get their playing fields back opposite the school?

Then about a year later, we heard that Arena Fields would be given back to Hackney Wick (somewhere in Hackney), not neccesarily opposite Gainsborough.

Now we see that a sliver of playing fields will be glimpsed through tower blocks well away from the canal!!

There is no way this will happen. There will be so much protest about this that the LDA & ODA will have the biggest headache for years to come!

Again it's a case of some planners thinking that they know whats best for us local thickos. Meanwhile, it's actually all about money!

They will be able to sell waterside apartments for much higher prices than ones behind a playing field!

No Way!!


Anonymous said...

Hey Mate!

These pics look absolutely shocking man!

I cannot imagine what life is going to be like with flats directly opposite our bedroom windows.

This is right diabolical mate! We have gotta fight it and use the media to help us man.

Give us a bell to chat about it.


Anonymous said...

Please don't forget to keep Wick Village in the loop as well. I know we don't really have a choice about the IPC/MBC shoved in our faces, but we still want the green bit of Arena Fields returned back to the towpath.
Any campaign will have 100% of our backing as well.

Anonymous said...


Is there any way you could raise this issue when you go for the next Hackney Wick Partnership meeting please?

I guess what I am asking is that we need all the help we can get, and if the board wasn't expecting the moving of the green, then maybe you can get them to query this new move on our behalf?

I know most of what you do there is confidential, and you don't particularly like asking favours of them, but we need as many mates as we can get just now.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shona
I hope Hackney Council will support us for once. What about that waistecoat guy you keep raving about?
Please give him a call & beg him to give us a contact person to start lobbying. At the second last meeting you said that he was one of us 'definetely not a suit' you said. Well - now's the time to put his money where his waistecoat is!

Anonymous said...

Hello Sóna

We will fight them on the towpaths..... Where's our Churchill now?!

Sóna, please start making enquiries about who exactly we need to speak to about the location of the green. We can't afford to waste time talking to some bunch of PR people representing the decision makers. We have to speak DIRECTLY to the people who can LISTEN!


Anonymous said...

Can you believe how we've been shafted?!?

Why should we trust ANYTHING they say when they blatantly lied to us about the playing fields?

Why does the IOC/ODA/LDA get away with bare-faced lies? Surely when someone this big tells a porkie, something should happen to punish them?

Are they just simply allowed to lie like that?

Please could someone answer me?


Anonymous said...

OMG!!! These pics leave me so panicked!

Please sign me up to any campaign setting this right. The accountants from the olympics can't undo plans just cos they want more money after the games.

Sign me up

Anonymous said...

The best hope we have of making sure this NEVER happens - is to lobby Hackney Council.

It it them who surely have to give planning permission for this to happen.

The greatest thing in our favour - is the longevity of the Leabank Square Community Association. The majority of our members have been here since the beginning of Leabank Square - and are going to be here for many decades to come!

This means that there is consistency to our opposition. We will always be opposing this plan no matter how many of the ODA/LDA & Hackney Council people change.

They will come& go - but we will always be here because it's where we live!


Anonymous said...

Hi Sona

We were promised that the playing fields were going to be returned to directly opposite the school - and now it looks like they're going to be hidden behind a block of flats!

Due we sue the estate agent or the LDA? Who messed up? Who told us porkies?

Please could you find out so that we can start the legal ball rolling?


Anonymous said...

Hi Sóna

What about having a couple stairs coming down from each side of the new bridge down onto Leabank Square & Wick Village riverbanks.

This would be a great way of getting residents used to the idea of maybe having a towpath along our side of the canal all the way from the eastway to the station.

Initially - we could have a lockable gate at the top of the stairs at the bridge level, but as we all get used to the idea, these could be taken away.

I'll show you what I mean at the meeting.