olympics

• Plans for a homeless hostel on Cambridge Park were approved by the Redbridge Planning Committee. More than 150 Wanstead residents had opposed the plan. Voting on the committee was split, but the plan went through on the chair’s casting vote. Opponent Mick Goodenough told Wansteadium legal advice was being taken with a view to mounting a judicial review  indicated a judicial review of the decision was unlikely to succeed.
• Litter bins on Christchurch Green are too small for the amount of litter, the Wanstead Society has told Redbridge Council. That, or foxes, or something else,  might be the reason for the regular sight of overflowing litter, though tweeter Paddy Fantastic (below) has other thoughts. The council says it will replace the bins, when the current ones wear out.

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/PaddyFantastic/status/102973321167118336″]

• Welcome to the Larder Mark III. After opening a new branch in Bethnal Green, Wanstead’s favourite is also taking over the Butlers’ Retreat tea rooms in Chingford Plain. The Larder is turning into a Wanstead success story.
• Speaking of which, Little Bears nursery on The Green has announced a pretty big expansion. From having places for 35 children, it is growing by adding a further 90 places, and is creating 20 new jobs.
• They are not the only things growing. The ArcelorMittal Orbit (also known as that weird red sculpture next to the Olympic stadium) is now about a third of the way through its construction. When it reaches its full height, it will disrupt the Freeview signal to houses on Hermon Hill.
• Wanstead is gearing up for the second Wanstead Art Trail, which runs from 11 September. The event’s new website is taking shape too; it’s here.
• Where Wansteadium goes today, the Sunday Times will go tomorrow. After our efforts to prove – despite apparent odds – that hedgehogs still roamed through Wanstead gardens, the paper reported this week that:

Hedgehogs could be wiped out in Britain within 15 years, a study has warned. They are on a list of the 10 indigenous species suffering the biggest decline in numbers in recent decades, along with the cuckoo, left, turtle dove, brown hare and Scottish wildcat. According to the Eden Species Report, which measures native species’ populations and rates of decline, there are about 1m hedgehogs left in the UK — a decline of about 25% over the past 10 years. In some parts of Britain the fall could be as high as 50%. With populations becoming more isolated as a result of the decrease in numbers, naturalists fear that the species will struggle to maintain a sufficiently large gene pool to sustain a healthy and viable population.

• There’s a full calendar of events in Wanstead here. You can submit your events at events@wansteadium.com
• Wansteadium’s fledgling free classifieds advert service, which allows you to sell your unwanted items to other Wanstead residents, can be found here.

Wednesday morning is expected to mark the start of Olympic volunteering season, as the website which allows people to put their names forward is officially launched. It will remain open until 27 October, and there are as many as 70,000 places available. The site will be available here – but there does not appear to be much point in rushing to get your name down: it’s not first come first served.

The BBC has today published a whole series of statistics about how vulnerable different areas of England are to public sector cuts. They have been calculated by the credit rating agency Experian, which has vast databases of the make-up of the country, and are based on a range of different factors such as the number of people employed in the public sector, life expectancy, benefits etc. The BBC News website has all sorts of whizzy maps to explore on the subject.

The overall picture for Redbridge is that it is almost exactly at the mid-point of vulnerability in England – 166th out of 324 areas. But beneath that are a number of interesting figures.

The borough scores highly for the number of self-employed people – 83rd – and is 50th where earnings are concerned. Crime is relatively high at 231, and considering the image many have of Redbridge it scores poorly – 273rd – for the amount of green space (though given the number of very rural districts in England, this is perhaps not so surprising).

Where Redbridge really stands out is on the number of business start-ups since 2008 – third out of the whole of England, behind neighbouring Barking and Dagenham in second place, and Newham in top spot. This is a fascinating picture of enterprise in east London, perhaps influenced by Olympic investment, and particularly important in difficult economic times when so much store is being set on a revival led by the private sector.

• The full list of artists participating in the Wanstead Art Trail – a fantastically enlightened bid to give Wanstead artistic buzz (rather like the regeneration-inducing Folkestone Triennial) – has been published by the Wanstead Society. It shows 63 venues in Wanstead which will be showing works by more than 130 artists, both professional and amateur. It will take place between 19 and 26 September and more details, including the full map, can be found at the Wanstead Society website.

• Rumours that the Metropolitan Police had started marking out the part of Wanstead Flats where they want to site their Olympic operational headquarters were scotched when it turned out the lines had been painted by the Showman’s Guild for the Wanstead Flats Fair. Opposition to the Met’s proposal is increasing in volume; the force is making its case online.

• Meanwhile, on Tuesday night, the decision will be made about the Arcelor Orbit sculpture, which, in June, Wansteadium revealed risks interfering with the Freeview TV signals of people living in Snaresbrook.Details here. It now appears that if there did turn out to be a significant effect, the Olympic Delivery Authority would be required to pay for corrective measures, though it’s not clear what this could be.

[picappgallerysingle id=”8382660″]The massive 120m Anish Kapoor sculpture to be built at the Olympic Park is going to cause disruption to the reception of Freeview TV signal to parts of Snaresbrook and South Woodford, Wansteadium can reveal.

The disruption is not expected to be massive – but could cause “ghosting” – and it doesn’t seem there is much that can be done to correct it, other than affected residents upgrading aeriels or switching to cable or satellite TV. There is no plan at the moment to fund those upgrades – they will have to be paid for by affected households.

The expected disturbance is revealed in a planning document published by the Olympic Delivery Authority. It says:

[the proposed sculpture] is likely to have a slight adverse impact on terrestrial TV services, due to shadowing of terrestrial TV signals caused by signal shadowing to Crystal Palace and Croydon transmitters, in a number of households to the north east of the development.  The affected locations may be able to have terrestrial television services restored by using one of the following methods as appropriate: installing a higher gain antenna or re-locating the existing antenna or re-pointing the existing antenna to another transmitter where possible or, if any of these solutions are unable to restore service, by installing satellite or cable TV services;

The affected areas, as detailed in this report, TV Reception Report and Appendix A – The construction of a Sculpture for the Olympic & Paralympic Games and Legacy phases, include parts of Stratford, Leyton, Leytonstone, Snaresbrook, South Woodford, Woodford Green and Buckhurst Hill. The areas are shown below, with the red line indicating disturbance from the Crystal Palace transmitter, the blue one Croydon.Comments on the application can be submitted via this page.


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[picappgallerysingle id=”8868090″] First mover advantage, maybe, but at least one Wanstead property is already being advertised for rent during the Olympic Games – just over two years away. And perhaps the most amazing part is the proposed rent – 2,000 euros a week for two-bedrooms, near Wanstead Park.

Other people will probably try to do the same, and there seems to be a flourishing market in websites trying to attract prospective letters and renters. And making the case for renting in Wanstead is not hard to do, as the advert in question demonstrates:

It is a couple of minutes walk from bus services and a short journey from Wanstead underground station which is on the central line with trains into central London taking around 20 mins. Manor Park overhead station is about a 10 minute walk away, with trains going directly to Straford where a link to the olympic sight [sic] can be picked up. Alternatively, we are around an 8 minute drive from the Olympic stadium.