The government has approved a plan to install prefabricated homes on top of buildings in Wanstead as part of a test programme which could address the housing shortage across the country.
The plan, reported in Planning Portal, follows tests on the concept which involves manufacturing prefabricated single storey constructions and installing them on top of existing buildings. Wanstead is one of five areas for which approval has been granted.
It is not clear where in Wanstead the plan is referring to, but the report says some of the homes could be completed by the summer. They could clearly only be built on sites with flat roofs where rights could be negotiated with freehold owners.
There would also, presumably, be local planning permission needed – but the news does raise the prospect of a number of new penthouse-style flats being available in Wanstead within the next year.
The homes will be built by Apex Airspace, whose work was featured on the BBC’s Inside Out in this report.
So it really does look like farewell to the Currant – we didn’t jump on the initial indications that something was awry last week, just in case – but it looks like the To Let sign is staying. To the team, thank you for your efforts over the past couple of years.
Fans of the Currant’s cakes might want to know that local baker Heron’s Nest is still operating and can be contacted via Facebook. It was Heron’s Nest which brought a tear to BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew’s eye last summer by making a Manuka honey cake – apparently one of the finest creations to have reached the Test Match Special commentary box.
At the other end of the High Street, the former Elizabeth Pryce letting agent, which is now part of Keaton’s, is being fitted out by Bell’s Blinds, a local chain. Good luck to them in their new venture. White wooden blinds and plantation shutters certainly are very Wanstead at the moment.
A film crew on the High Street on Tuesday, choosing Wanstead’s Piccolo as the setting for their commercial. This time it was for a “sports” product, though producers were tight-lipped about what the actual advert was for. “You’ll have to watch to find out,” they said. Whatever it is, it involves an inflatable flamingo.
Campaigners wanting to preserve a tradition of weekly worship at Wanstead’s St Mary’s church on Overton Drive have had some good news – though there are strings attached.
The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, has decided not to accept a plan that would have seen services take place at St Mary’s on just a handful of Sundays each year. This was the decision that members of the congregation at St Mary’s had been lobbying him for.
But the bishop also decided that most services at St Mary’s would be led by a lay member of the congragation, rather than one of the ordained ministers. There would now only be one Holy Communion at the church each month, instead of the current four. On one Sunday each month there would be a joint service at Christ Church.
The Wanstead parish has two churches – St Mary’s and Christ Church – and the parish had proposed the plan to stop weekly worship at St Mary’s, even though the congregation who go there wanted it to continue. The rector of Wanstead, the Revd Jack Dunn, said he “warmly welcomed the [bishop’s] wise and compassionate” decision.
In short, then, it means that the precious Wanstead building can continue to be used on most weeks. A working group is being set up which will attempt to find ways to make the new arrangement sustainable.
A lost space-bike or something like it – which looks like an essential accessory for an Infinity Wars Lego set – has been found on Hermon Hill. A conscientious Scout* took the bike (or whatever) home, washed it, serviced it, rebuilt it and replaced some missing parts, and it is now back on the wall at the end of Wellington Road ready for its rightful owner to collect.
Another slice of Wanstead from 1963 from former resident Kerry Renshaw. This time it’s the corner of Grove Park and the High Street, featuring the Corner House. At first glance not much has changed, though the trees are obviously bigger.
Zooming in on the shopfronts tells us a bit more.
There is a fur shop visible – but the other names are still a bit too blurry. Some longtime residents will no doubt recognise them (and Terry Manning, if you’re reading, would you mind looking in your copy of Kelly’s Directory again?)