On Monday evening, members of Save Lea Marshes staged a pop-up protest against the car wash which is now operating, without planning permission, in the car park of Lee Valley Ice Centre.
Planning permission is yet to be granted by Waltham Forest Council and yet permanent structures have already been created for the car wash, which is now serving customers illegally. The Park Act, which Lee Valley Park Authority is obliged to follow, prohibits the maintenance of motor vehicles. However, Lee Valley Park are defending the decision to allow the car wash to operate, ignoring not just the Park Act but also the terms of its lease which prohibit any structures on Metropolitan Open Land that are not designed for entertainment and recreation.
One of the worst aspects of this new business, aside from its inappropriate appearance on the marshes, is the fact it will add to river pollution. The Lea river is already the most polluted river in Britain. Any car wash creates additional pollution from oil and detergents, which runs straight into the nearby watercourse. The river Lea is only metres away from the site. Despite this, the planning application for the car wash states that it is not in proximity to any watercourse.
Save Lea Marshes are calling on the Lee Valley Park Authority to follow its own legal framework and for Waltham Forest Council not to grant the application. For more info, see: www.saveleytonmarsh.wordpress.com
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