Monday, May 19, 2008

White Elephant

greyhounds on a racetrackIt is a little while now since the spectre of a Racetrack at Fairlop Waters was removed from the scene. But what if it hadn’t, apart from the impact on our open green spaces, wildlife, amenities etc?

I had argued that what was being proposed was not a racecourse but a racetrack. It was not a sunny summers day out in the countryside with hampers and big hats. It was evening meetings inside a huge air conditioned stand, more like a Dog Track.

Now here’s an interesting report. Walthamstow Stadium is set to close in September.

“Since the change in tax-free betting laws, punters have been more inclined to bet 'off-course' and attendances have declined dramatically.”

I do believe that Ron Jeffries of the Aldborough Hatch Defence Association predicted that if the scheme went ahead we [the council tax payers] would be left with a White Elephant. It seems he may have been correct and that we have had a lucky escape.


  1. Once again a case of public intelligence and opinion fortuitously being light years ahead of our political representatives and their 'pet' consultants.

  2. The racetrack should have been built. It would have been great for the local area, been a good a night out for families, brought in trade and created jobs. Those are the most important things. It was a great shame it failed. Look at the new race course further out in Essex - Great Leighs. Fairlop could have been a great site, we could have got loads of people from Canary Wharf and the city - just as Kempton Park does, although that is further out. It is a great shame, yet again the silent majority are shafted by the green minority. George Nethby - Elmbridge Road, Hainault.

  3. Strange how some people can hear the silent majority when they are, how can I put this, well, SILENT!

  4. Tajinder Lachhar9:37 am, May 21, 2008

    Jobs for whom?

    All developments claim they will bring jobs for the local community. When you looking into the detail of development plans in general, you realise there are normally a limited number of jobs :

    1. Building the structure - will go to builders specialised in this trade (these jobs will be temporary and will disappear once the building is up).
    2. I doubt we would have found many jockeys in Redbridge. They would probably have come from Newbury.
    3. The only other jobs to be offered would be cleaning and retail. As usual the grunt work which is low paid.

    Therefore, what benefit would the community have really achieved. It is becoming very difficult for people to live on the minimum wage in London. No doubt therefore, the immigrants would have taken the jobs because they can afford to live off minimum wage because most are willing to house share.

  5. Wonderful idea, George Nethby. Pinch a large slice of our open space to fill it with drunken "Hooray Henries" from Canary Wharf. Wonderful for Redbridge in general, and for Fairlop and Hainault in particular.

  6. And we are not left with a White Elephant now?


  7. Not if the council get their finger out and get some private capital in to regenerate the site as a community open space resource.

  8. I agree but finger stuck in dike


    The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
    Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
    Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
    Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it


  9. The people who opposed the racetrack may get what they deserve. Namely a housing development of cheap flats. Maybe then they will realise a racetrack would have the worst of two evils. At least that would brought employment and fun to the area. And for Mr Morris Hickey information, many of those who go to horse racing are everyday working people who want a day / night out. Also other jobs are created in the office - advertising, ticketing, management, environment etc. All race courses have a manager and team for each. George Nethby, Hainault.

  10. George,
    There is very little chance of housing being built on the site known as Fairlop Waters in the immediate future. To quote Cllr Burgess "What we have reclaimed is actually a landfill site, which means, quite simply, that this asset is of limited use at this point in time."
    It will be many years before the site has settled and ceases to leak methane.

    If you look at a later post Open Space you will find it is other areas of greenbelt Fairlop Plain that could be under threat.