A message from Christine Lyons, Planning Enforcement Manager

We have just received this note. It seemed important enough to post in full immediately.

“I am relieved to find a group such as yours fighting to save this very important building within our borough. As a Council we have on a number of occasions dealt positively with potential custodians of this building but sadly to date we have not managed to secure any positive reuse of the building, thereby securing its long term future.  I have been involved with several planning enforcement matters on this site over the past three years and over £30,000 of public money (this Borough and English Heritage) has been invested to protect this building in the short to medium term.

This Council has already supported your cause with Ben Hull attending your Public Meeting on 23 September 2012. It is hoped that we can maintain this relationship with your group and where possible work together with any potential buyers to seek a final positive outcome. Ben can be contacted on 02033739574.

I understand there was an issue prior to this public meeting which left you and your group unhappy with the actions of this Council. It would seem that your campaigners were leafleting outside Forest Gate Station and received advice from the “law enforcement officer” that you were to cease this activity immediately.  I am unsure as to the reasoning behind this request but have been informed that this advice was incorrect. I have spoken at length with the Service Manager for these officers Mr Al Thomas and he can only apologise for the actions of his officer and should you wish can be contacted on 02033733084 to discuss this matter.

I hope we can work positively with you in the future on this very important project and as such please feel free to contact me should you require any further information. I can be reached on 02033737725.

Christine Lyons

Planning Enforcement Manager”


We’d like to thank Ben Hull again for coming to the meeting and for taking the matter up in his department, and Christine Lyons for her message of support. We’ll be in touch with them again to continue what is potentially a very productive relationship.