Enjoy the latest Wandle Valley Forum Bulletin                                                 View this email in your browser
No. 9   January 2016
Welcome to a Wandleful 2016 looking ahead to an exciting year for the Wandle Valley. We're kicking off with a bumper edition of Wandle News - edited by Bruce St Julian-Bown and packed with news, updates and opinions. We are also asking for your views and ideas on the emerging Wandle Valley Forum Charter - this follows the successful Wandle Futures event last autumn. Don't miss the new Wandle Valley Regional Park website and the winning photos from our tenth anniversary photographic competition. There's mixed news on some of the latest development proposals and plans, including Crossrail 2 and a new Local Plan for Croydon. And the Wandle features heavily in a new London-wide report on "green infrastructure".
WANDLE NEWS - Click here to download and enjoy
What have King John, greyhounds, quietways and the Bridge to Nowhere got in common? They all feature in the bumper 13th edition of Wandle News! Edited by Bruce St Julian-Bown you will find a rich mix of stories and opinions about the Wandle. Read it now by clicking the green button above.
Wandle Valley Forum Charter - We are looking for your feedback on the emerging Charter. When finished this will set out our priorities for the future of the Wandle Valley and explain the Wandle Valley Forum’s distinct and independent role. We aim to publish the Charter at our AGM this spring.
Work on the Charter is grounded in the views of the 80+ community groups, voluntary organisations and local business that support Wandle Valley Forum and the outcomes from our Wandle Futures workshop in October 2015.  It draws on the extensive work already undertaken by Wandle Trust, Wandle Valley Regional Park Trust, All London Green Grid, Living Wandle Landscape Partnership and others who have done so much to establish a shared approach to the Wandle Valley.
Wandle Valley Forum plays a unique role.  We bring together people and organisations that care for the Wandle Valley, its river, its story, and its diverse network of open spaces and communities.  We support the different communities and organisations that make up the Wandle Valley.  We provide a communications network and we use our independent voice to amplify that of local groups and speak out for the Wandle Valley’s future. 

The emerging priorities for the Charter are:
  1. Connect the Wandle Valley into the family of London’s Regional Parks based on fairer funding arrangements and as part of London’s ambitions as a National Park City. 
  2. Promote Wandle Valley Regional Park and support new governance arrangements that provide a majority independent voice and endow its future financial sustainability. 
  3. Realise the potential of London’s biggest environmental opportunity – the 450 hectares of open space stretching from Beddington Park to Mitcham Common – an area three times that of Hyde Park. 
  4. Unify the approach to planning across the local authorities with common policies and a shared ambition, including for use of the community infrastructure levy for the Wandle Valley’s benefit. 
  5. Secure business benefits from locating in the Wandle Valley, including through a Park Improvement District providing investment which delivers more visitors and customers and provides more attractive employment for local people. 
  6. Connect millions more people to the Wandle through events and activities that open up the possibilities the Wandle can offer. 
  7. Complete the Wandle Trail and close the gaps at Earlsfield and the river mouth. 
  8. Encourage access for all along the river without urbanising clutter, metalled tracks and intrusive lighting. 
  9. Support the ambitions of local community groups and voluntary organisations for a “naturally functioning, self sustaining” river and for the Wandle’s heritage to be better cared for and promoted. 
  10. Establish a more resilient Wandle Valley with future-proofed development, more tree cover and as a pioneering green energy hub. 
  11. Expand the role of local communities to manage and run buildings and open spaces along the Wandle and support a local food economy. 
  12. Rekindle the Wandle Valley Festival and support arts and cultural activities.
A draft Working Paper providing more background on the priorities is available to download here.
Please let us have your views on the emerging Charter - what you like, what you don't and what's missing - by Sunday 14th February. They can be emailed to or posted to Tony Burton, Chair, Wandle Valley Fourm, 43 Bramcote Avenue, Mitcham CR4 4LW
Wandle Photo Competition - the winners of our 10th anniversary photo competition were announced at Wandle Valley Regional Park Trust's AGM. Overall winner Bill Mudge stands by the winning entry of a misty morning on Mitcham Common. Enjoy the full picture in Wandle News and other entries below and at our website.
Croydon Local Plan review New planning policies are being prepared by Croydon Council. This includes one of the river's sources and covers an important part of the Wandle Valley. Wandle Valley Forum's early submission calls for more consistent planning policies along the whole of the Wandle's length, proper recognition of Wandle Valley Regional Park and to ensure new development is never at the expense of losing the river underground. Read our submission here.
New flats on Merton/Wandsworth boundary - Plans for up to five storeys of flats alongside the Wandle in Earlsfield have shown how important it is for local planning authorities to collaborate across their boundaries. The proposals for Ravensbury Terrace in Wandsworth are adjacent to the Haslemere Estate redevelopment plans in Merton. They would replace the building on the right in the photo. Our response has called for a common approach that respects the Wandle and makes provision for closing the gap in the Wandle Trail.  
Green Infrastructure Task Force praises Wandle Valley - A special report into future plans for London's infrastructure has identified the Wandle Valley Regional Park as a pioneer. The report focuses on "green" infrastructure to ensure it receives as much attention as London's transport, energy, water, waste and digital infrastructure plans. Natural Capital calls for 50% of London to be green by 2050, new "sub regional partnerships" (covering more than one borough as with the Wandle Valley) and for the creation of a Green Infrastructure Commissioner. It also calls on the Mayor to work with London National Park City to raise awareness of the importance of our green spaces
Hackbridge school pushed through on Metropolitan Open Land - Sutton Council has defied its own planning policies and those of the London Plan to support giving itself permission for a new school on the open land next to BedZED. Our efforts have helped to secure small improvements following our call to Boris Johnson to intervene. The plans need a final go ahead from the Mayor before they can proceed. 
Crossrail 2 depot borders Wandle - Weir Road is being lined up as a major work site for Crossrail 2 providing for the ‘stabling’ of trains along with facilities for train washing and cleaning and a maintenance depot. The site will also include a shaft providing ventilation and emergency access to the Crossrail 2 tunnels. The plans cover the entire Weir Road industrial estate and are adjacent to the existing train depot outside Wimbledon. We will be asking for the boundary with the river and the Wandle Trail to be treated sensitively.

Crossrail 2 is the biggest infrastructure project planned for London in the next decade. It will link the Wandle Valley Regional Park at Wimbledon to the Lee Valley Regional Park at Tottenham Hale. Find out more about the plans at Wimbledon here.

Wandle Valley Regional Park has a new website! It is designed to encourage people to visit and discover the delights of the Wandle now the Regional Park has been established. The website was launched at Wandle Valley Regional Park Trust's AGM (more pictures below) and includes photographs entered into the Wandle Valley Photographic Competition.

Wandle Valley Forum provides support and an independent voice for the community groups, voluntary organisations and people who share a passion for the Wandle.  Support us by offering your time or a donation.  You can find out more on our website, contact us by email or get involved on twitter or Facebook using the links above.

This Bulletin is produced by Wandle Valley Forum - we welcome feedback & please let us know of any errors