Suggested text for writing to your Councillor

Dear Cllr [your councillor’s name],

Re: St James Street Car Park Site

As a local resident, I am writing to ask you to support the local call to allow Rooms of our Own to build their project at the St James Street carpark site E17 7PJ.

The project would positively contribute to the area and to our community:

the plan to have a café open to all would be a welcome and beneficial addition to St James Street
the plan to have workspaces for startups, businesses and charities for women would help to address the ongoing gender imbalances in society
– good quality passivhaus housing units of a decent size would support the project
the plans would mean Waltham Forest makes its mark in providing both a space for women and a space for all.

I urge you to discuss this issue with your fellow Councillors to build further support towards realising the project.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,
[your name]
[your address]

Still a possibility to build Rooms of our Own in Waltham Forest – with your help!

Cllr Clare Coghill, the LBWF Portfolio holder responsible for Property issues, recently told St James Neighbourhood Forum that she hasnt yet decided on the right project for the St James Car Park Site. This is brilliant news as it means we still have a chance of building our amazing and innovative project in E17.
Those of you familiar with Rooms of our Own will know that WE are the right developer and our project IS the right development for this site 🙂 
Please help us to convince the Council also. We do have a number of supportive Councillors, but we need even more. If we can get 4,000 signatures, then the Council will have to have a debate on the issue. We know 4,000 is a lot, but with your help we think we can get there!
Please sign the e-petition HERE
OR  download the paper petition PETITION to Waltham Forest Council w epetition and get 9 more Waltham Forest residents to sign it for us.

Please dont sign the e-petition AND the paper one as that will invalidate the results.

BACKGROUND

We were offered the opportunity to buy the St James St site by London Borough of Waltham Forest in October 2013. On that basis we procured a GLA grant, engaged  ARCHITECTS and found a developer partner, THORNSETT. We consulted locally and drew up plans  – see Anne Thorne Architects Report and were in detailed discussions with LBWF Planning when we were told the offer was withdrawn. We had over 40 organisations seeking space in the building. Thousands of local people have supported the project, attended our events and want to see Rooms of our Own built on this site.
Given that the site is still empty, our Board of Directors has decided to petition Waltham Forest Council and have one last try to procure the site for this amazing and innovative project that would bring so much benefit to Walthamstow.

PLEASE PUBLICISE WIDELY FOR US!  THANK YOU

YOU HAVEN’T FAILED UNTIL YOU STOP

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Follow us on twitter  @roomso4own

#wecanmakeithappen

LBWF says no

Very sad to tell you all that after all this time waiting, and all our efforts, and the huge support we have from local women, voluntary organisations, several councillors and officers, and many women and women’s organisations across London, LBWF have today told us NO

Waltham Forest’s asset manager said she was not prepared to accept such a use on that site. Although thousands of local people disagree, it appears it is her professional opinion that carries the day. It is not clear WHY she is not prepared to accept Rooms of our Own, but we are not going to give up our dreams!

We are now actively seeking sites in other London boroughs ….. any ideas and contacts welcome!

YOU HAVENT FAILED UNTIL YOU STOP

South Grove Supplementary Planning Document

We are delighted that so very many people wrote into London Borough of Waltham Forest in response to their recent Supplementary Planning Document produced by Cambridge architects 5th Studio.

Lots of people wrote in some detail saying why they would like to see the Rooms of our Own project built on Opportunity Site 17 at St James Street car park.

Now we are waiting to see what LBWF will decide to do.

Thanks to everyone who responded to the consultation

You can read the consultation responses here South Grove consultation responses

Email LBWF Planners before end of July – help #makeithappen !

London Borough of Waltham Forest engaged Cambridge architects, 5th Studio, to produce a report for them about the St James St area.  Their plan is now out for public consultation, but only until 29th July – so we need to be quick! You can find the report here LBWF Local Development Framework  Click on Supplementary Planning Documents and you will find the report on St James St.

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Please will everyone who supports the Rooms of our Own project respond to this draft Planning Document saying that you would like to see our project built on Opportunity Site 17. You can mention all the various benefits that the project would bring to St James St helping with the regeneration of the area.

  1. 47 new housing units
  2. a floor of housing for older single women with shared communal facilities
  3. a hot-desking area with creche to enable women with children to pursue their businesses and / or learning
  4. meeting rooms of various sizes
  5. a gallery for women artists –  women are grossly under-represented in all the major existing galleries
  6. a performance space for all the community
  7. a shared resource area for women’s groups and organisations – we have over 40 expressions of interest from a wide range of women’s groups and businesses from all sections of the community – so it will be a great multi-cultural space
  8. office space for women’s charities
  9. a women-only zone for relevant charities dealing with issues such as domestic violence, rape, FGM
  10. opportunity to rent the entire building for women’s conferences
  11. a public cafe for everyone which will be open through the evening, helping with the night-time economy and providing an alternative to pubs for those who dont drink

The Council’s preferred method for receiving consultation responses is through their online consultation portal at:http://walthamforest-consult.limehouse.co.uk/portal    Alternatively, you can submit your comments by email to: planning.policy@walthamforest.gov.uk  or by post to: Planning Policy, Room GO8, Sycamore House, Waltham Forest Town Hall Complex, London E17 4JF.

As most of you know, Rooms of our Own was originally offered the opportunity to buy this site in October 2013. Last summer the Council changed their minds, saying they were going to put the site on the market. A year on and this hasnt yet happened. We assume that now the 5th Studio report has been produced that they will soon be putting together tender documents. If we can get a real build-up of positive support for a Women’s Centre on that site that would be really helpful for our bid.

You dont have to live in the borough to comment –  we anticipate that Rooms of our Own will have a reach far beyond Waltham Forest.

 

Thank you all … and please pass this on!