Wanstead parking: Could this be peace?

permit2This may be folly to predict, but it seems as if peace might be about to break out in the Wanstead Parking Wars.

The long-awaited consultation of the “residents only” restrictions which were introduced last year to many streets in central Wanstead is to be discussed at next week’s Area One committee of Redbridge Borough Council.

Papers just published, in advance of that meeting, show that council officials are proposing a compromise which will create up to 120 short term parking spots around the High Street. Residents’ restrictions will be largely cut to just one hour from 11am to noon, and parts of two roads which currently have all day bans – Grove Park and Nightingale Lane – will now also have just a one-hour restriction.

The parking wars (which, as far as Wansteadium is aware, have not yet got beyond slightly heated sulking on either side) were created when residents restrictions were introduced to stop commuters parking all day in Wanstead streets from where they would go in to central London on the Tube. But retailers, office-workers and shoppers complained that it had become impossible to park in Wanstead to visit shops or cafes because there was just no parking available.

The council paper says: “The report draws the conclusion from the analysis of the varying views that some relaxation of the parking restrictions will be beneficial to the broader Wanstead populace while at the same time it will be important to continue to provide residents with some degree of protection. In effect, a compromise solution is offered in the recommendations.”

It adds: “All in all, the amendments to the current scheme proposed above should provide in the region of 75 to 80 additional short term parking places in the roads in the current [controlled parking zone] and a further 30 in Grove Park and Grosvenor Road. It should be stressed that this is considerably more short term parking provision than existed prior to the CPZ schemes being introduced given that most of the free bays in the one-hour ban on Spratt Hall Road were occupied by long stay parkers and Dangan and Addison Roads were heavily parked by commuters.”

The full proposals in the report – which will have to be approved by councillors – are:

To introduce one-hour residents permit schemes, operating from 11am to noon on weekdays, on:

  • Addison Road and Dangan Road and Spratt Hall Road at the Cambridge Park end only
  • the ChristChurch Green side of Spratt Hall Road between Woodbine Place and Wanstead Place
  • Chaucer Road at the Spratt Hall Road end only (noting that the remainders of Spratt Hall Road, Chaucer Road, Dangan Road and Addison Road will remain as they are now)
  • the gravelled area outside Christ Church in Wanstead Place

The current all day restriction in the first section of Grove Park and The Avenue, and the first section of Nightingale Lane, will be converted to a one-hour ban yellow line (9.30 to 10.30).

In terms of achieving a compromise, the officers may have reached some sort of conclusion, but it is unlikely that everyone will be happy. People living in Grove Park and the Avenue may well object, though the larger houses there have off-street parking.

But while shops and cafes will welcome the general relaxation, probably with garlands and kisses, there may well be debate about the timing of the restriction. Whereas the one-hour limit in some parts of Wanstead is 9.30-10.30, the new proposed 11am-noon limit may leave those relying on a lunchtime trade frustrated.

wansteadtalkwideThe debate which has raged for so long will now continue, especially at next week’s meeting. In the meantime, Wanstead Talk (our messageboard for civilised Wanstead conversation) is open for business on the subject of parking at this page.

Wanstead news roundup: A minor parking breakthrough, and other news

photo• Police are investigating how a 44-year-old man was stabbed on Wanstead High St at 5am on Tuesday. The area was taped off for much of the day. More details at the Wanstead Guardian, which says police believe it was a domestic incident

• A For Sale sign now adorns the premises previously occupied by Santa Fe. And Cambridge Park accountants Tish, Press and Co say they are leaving Wanstead simply because of the difficulty of parking.

• BUT here’s a bit of good news for embattled Wanstead shopkeepers: Westfield NOW NO LONGER OFFERS FREE PARKING (see pic). Up to two hours will now set you back £2.50.

• Nudists took over Wanstead’s cricket ground last weekend for (authorised) naturist camping, in spite of the chilly conditions. Meanwhile the club is gearing up for the start of a new season, with the first games next weekend. Last year, you may remember, Wanstead and Snaresbrook were national club finalists, and they will be hoping to repeat their successes. From next week, Wansteadium will be bringing you regular reports of what’s going on, hopefully at all levels of the club.

• No news yet on whether Costa will, as rumoured, open in the former Enigma premises, though it appears George Lane is to get one.

photo (1)• Is it Wansteadium’s imagination, or are the ‘conservation’ zone signs at the Snaresbrook end of the High Street new?

• Reviews are welcome for the newest (and some would say bravest) culinary venture: a seafood stall next door to Queen’s British Steak House and Grill, called Wanstead Shell Shack. The best of luck to them (though is a PTSD-based pun really good taste?)

• For the avoidance of confusion, and partly because we’ve never thought to say this before, but Wansteadium has no link whatever with the Wanstead Village Directory. That is all.

Hallelujah: At last a new useful shop for Wanstead


It’s been a long time coming, but Wanstead’s ‘new’ pet shop is now open for business, as the shelves are gradually filled and stock is moved from its decrepit former premises next door. The new shop is modern, clean and massive by comparison, with plenty of room for animals (in an air conditioned section at the rear of the shop) and for general household goods too.

Owner Mas Beg, who was named shopkeeper of the year by the Wanstead Society in 2010, and his fellow gerbilmeister Trevor Spicer are busily getting the shop ready. New attractions include items long missing from Wanstead High Street, including boxes of nails and screws and small electrical bits. And they are open to suggestions for items that people would like to be stocked.

When Wansteadium asked this question first in May 2011, nominated items were Polyfilla, Evo-Stick, string, sink plungers, dustpans, mothballs, lightbulbs and clothes pegs. You’re welcome to add anything, using the form below. Mas says he’s watching…




The former shop, now ripe for redevelopment.20121230-004806.jpg

The view from the rear – the new brick building is the complete development, meaning what the new shop gains in floor space it loses in outdoors room at the back. Mas says he will continue to stock plants at the front.


Presents to buy in Wanstead. Yes, in Wanstead

giftlist2012Here is this year’s final Wanstead Gift List – our list of good presents which can be bought from Wanstead shops.
It’s been collated by Wansteadium and readers, and is our annual contribution to avoiding a Mayan apocalypse coming to our beloved Wanstead High Street. So all readers are encouraged to do their duty.

★ Amber drop earings for approx £35 from Keatings
★ A place on sewing course from Stitch
★ Family photo taken in one of Wanstead’s parks nicely presented in a silver photo frame (£10) from The Art Shop
★ Silver open heart necklace from The Orange Tree (£12) [Reader writes: “It was present to myself and I’ve had loads of compliments since buying it last week.”]
★ Wooden toys for toddlers, from the Pet Shop (Heads and Tails)20121216-215253.jpg
★ Cool iPhone-style cufflinks, Nicole’s
★ Hipflasks, the Art Shop


★ Diaries from Bennett’s newsagents


★ And our top selection: In a week that the Cabinet decided placemats were an appropriate present for the Queen, there can be no better present than Wanstead-themed coasters. From the Art Shop.



Announcing the Wanstead Gift List 2012

It’s time again for the increasingly annual tradition of the Wanstead Gift List. The rules are the same as last year:

• Wansteadium readers are invited to nominate anything suitable for a Christmas gift which can be bought in Wanstead
• The best and most original gifts will make up a top 10 which we will publish here
• The reward for nominators will be a warm glow of community spirit and, one might hope, a thriving High Street.

Please send nominations as soon as possible, and by close of play on Monday 10 December, using the form below or by e-mail to wansteadium@gmail.com. Include whatever details of the item you can.
[gravityform id=”6″ name=”Wanstead Gift List 2012″ ajax=”true”]

Wanstead Magazine Club’s new frontier

The Wanstead Magazine Club – which recycles interesting magazines in public places in Wanstead for the benefit of anyone who’s interested – is from today available in a third venue, Provender.

The club has also been offering a wider range of magazines, including the clearly highbrow (Prospect, New Yorker and London Review of Books), and more populist (Vanity Fair and Wired). Anyone with copies of Elle Decoration, GQ, National Geographic, Good Food, Which or the Beano out there? We think you might, if you examine your conscience, find a small voice telling you that you really ought to share your riches with your Wanstead fellows. Find out more at the Wanstead Magazine Club.

And in the meantime, what better way to make the most of the Farmers’ Market than enjoying a latte and pain aux raisins at the Larder or a spot of petit dejeuner at Provender in the company of some fine reading material.