East London and Epping Forest review of the year 2021: May

There was sad news in May when a Harlow model and singer best known for appearing in Levi jeans TV ad in the 1980s died aged 59.

Nick Kamen rose to fame in a 1985 advert for Levi 501 jeans in which he strips down to his boxers in a 1950s style laundrette to wash his clothes.

The next year he released a top five song called Each Time You Break My Heart, which was written by Madonna.

May also saw Walthamstow named as the third biggest hotspot for Japanese knotweed in London and the worst in east London for the damaging weed.

As the UK’s most invasive plant entered its spring growth phase, Japanese knotweed expert Environet revealed the latest hotspots using data from its interactive online tracker heatmap.

The data for 2021 showed there were as many as 213 Japanese knotweed infestations within a 4km radius of Walthamstow, which is more than any area in London bar Shepherd’s Bush and Battersea Park.

Meanwhile, an “underutilised” bank could be replaced with an 18-storey block of flats, if a developer gets planning permission.

Providence Capital Securities submitted an application to Waltham Forest Council to build 66 flats on the Barclays Bank site in Hoe Street, Walthamstow, next to the Travelodge Hotel.

Only 17 of these flats will be “affordable”, for households earning £40,000 to £60,000 a year, meaning the scheme does not meet the 35 per cent affordable housing target set out in the council’s local plan.


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