Fighting for Walthamstow's Heritage: Debate in parliament
Stella Creasy MP for Walthamstow secured a debate today in parliament about Walthamstow's heritage and the fate of our local dog track and the former EMD cinema.
During the debate she questioned the status quo which appears to give few opportunities to intervene to protect and secure our heritage assets. She says "With the EMD Cinema its current owners have twice been refused planning permission to convert it into a church. In the meantime a viable alternative exists which would restore this listed building to the use for which it was designed.
"Similarly, the Dog Track's current owners appear not to show concern for the listing of the building as a site of historical interest because of the role of greyhound racing in shaping Walthamstow. Whilst there exists a clear and credible plan to return the track into use, they press ahead with plans to convert the land into housing against the wishes of local residents. With both sites there is the prospect of the deterioration of their condition and so the detriment of their heritage value.
"Whilst both English Heritage and the Secretary of State have powers to intervene in the fate of listed buildings, these powers are only used rarely for a number of reasons. I have arranged this debate to encourage the Ministers responsible to review this, and consider policies that could overcome these problems. I will also continue to work with our local respresentatives and local campaigners to try to make progress in restoring both buildings back to their intended use for the benefit of the regeneration of Walthamstow."