Actual good work on the troubled zebra crossing

The redevelopment of the zebra crossing on Wanstead High Street is complete, and we think the solution that the relevant traffic planners have come up with is pretty good.

You’ll remember the problem, which we highlighted in January following another accident on the crossing – it is that the trees could possibly obscure people about to cross. Solutions discussed at the time were that the crossing should move, that the trees should go, or that traffic lights should be installed.

The solution eventually gone for was to build out the pavement outside the Corner House, and introduce a raised platform for the crossing. This means cars are slowed, that pedestrians are on the road for less time, and – crucially – that the visibility of people waiting or about to cross is far more obvious for drivers. The trees survive, and the flow of traffic isn’t slowed down by the constant red lights of a pelican crossing.

So, we think, good work all round.

New development proposal for Wanstead High Street’s Evergreen Field

An architect’s impression of the development. Source: Caerus Developments

It had to happen sooner or later.

A new development for a block of 24 flats and a nursery is being proposed for Evergreen Field, the undeveloped but tatty space opposite the Wanstead High Street shops.

Letters are being sent to residents asking their views on the proposal, which has yet to be submitted to Redbridge planning authorities.

The proposal is for:

  • A four-storey building
  • Space for a nursery for children up to five-years-old
  • “Onsite affordable housing”
  • Some land at the back of the development to be “given back to the community”.

The developers promise that full details will be included in brochures which are soon to be delivered.

Though news about the site has been quiet for several years, it was the subject of a previous planning application which did not go anywhere. The reason it can be used for housing is that at one stage (when London had police stations) there was a police house on the site.

It was an early proposal for development on the site which led to the formation of the Wanstead Society, the group which among other things goes through local planning applications on behalf of good taste.

This is the letter which is sent to residents:

Big City

Congratulations to City Place which has opened its extension in the former Nationwide Building Society, and an impressive space it is too. In just over a year the cafe has become a key presence on the high street*, and the new expanded area will be very useful – in particular for Fringe organisers who are already planning events to be held there this year. Good luck to all the City Place staff.

* [Full disclosure: It also hosts an excellent pop-up bookshelf from Wanstead Bookshop.]

Eyes on the Green

Lots of eyes are on the controversial kiosk cafe on Christchurch Green which has opened for business. Will it lead to a change in the kind of people using the green? Will it lead to a rise or a fall in the amount of litter? Will it increase or decrease anti-social behaviour? Will the impact on high street cafes and shops be noticeable, or could it attract more people to spend time in Wanstead? We’re not sure how these questions will be answered, but at the time of writing, there have been no reports of the sky falling in.

We will however be interested to hear about the plans for small recitals and events which were part of the proposition.