Page 1

Creative scene: cultural community collaborates

Issue 2 | Encouraging investment in Waltham Forest



Issue 2 | Encouraging investment in Waltham Forest

Hadley Property Group is one of London’s fastest-growing residential developers, and are specialists in the delivery of high-quality, design-led schemes. The company’s pipeline will bring more than 2200 homes to the market across

London and the south-east and has a combined GDV of £1.4bn. HPG is currently helping London to meet its housing targets in association with the following local authorities:

Natural movement: urban wetlands attraction


Olympic legacy: shaping the stars of tomorrow

Residents start to move into £70m flagship Walthamstow development The first families have, this Spring, moved into Circle Housing’s £70m flagship development in Walthamstow. Located on Billet Road, Banbury Park has 350 homes, split between shared ownership, private sale and affordable rent. The new development replaces disused warehouses, industrial works and an electronics factory. Over 2,400 square feet of retail and commercial space will also be created to house a major new retail unit, as well as smaller shops, boutique stores and business premises. It will also have landscaped community spaces, shops, offices, and a public square that will help to continue the regeneration of the area. Tim Seward, Head of Property Sales, said: “E17 - or ‘Awesomestow’, as it has been dubbed - is reaping the benefits from significant investment and is rapidly becoming one of the most exciting and sought-after places to live.

“Our new homes present a great opportunity to be part of this well connected and stylish community. Banbury Park also represents good value for money in comparison to other parts of the capital.” Banbury Park also boasts excellent transport links into central London - there are numerous bus connections from Billet Road to Walthamstow and Blackhorse Road tube station. The development is also situated beside the north circular and a 10 minute drive from the M11.

Prospective buyers can call Centra Living, part of Circle Housing on 0845 223 0000 or


Councillor Khevyn Limbajee, Cabinet Member for Housing at Waltham Forest Council, said, “We have been working hard with developers to ensure more homes are built in the borough, working to a target of 12,000 new homes in Waltham Forest by 2020, with half of them being affordable. This development is the latest step on that journey and will help us achieve our ultimate goal of creating well-designed friendly neighbourhoods made up of decent quality, attractive and affordable homes. We’re determined to see housing contribute to the regeneration of entire areas and meet the needs of prosperous happy families who take pride in where they live.”


Pumphouse Museum transformed into affordable homes Circle Housing Circle 33 redeveloped part of the Pumphouse Transport Museum on South Access Road that was previously used for the storage of old vehicles. The site has now been transformed into 21 flats and family houses for shared ownership and affordable rent.

a one bedroom flat before moving into a two bedroom flat at the new £4m development. She said: “It is early days but definitely it feels like we could have a nice little community going. It’s a lovely development and having the extra space is obviously really important to us.

was great to visit this impressive new development and meet some of the new residents. We’re working really hard with Housing Associations like Circle to see new homes built in the borough and to ensure there are good affordable quotas to meet the needs of all residents.”

Councillor Khevyn Limbajee, Cabinet Member for Housing at Waltham Forest Council toured William Marshall Close and met with residents who had recently moved in to their new homes.

The location is also good, as it’s a nice quiet part of Walthamstow and we are close to a park, which is going to be great for my two children.”

The homes were built using a modern brick and steel construction to complement the existing museum, while every home has access to either a private balcony or garden.

Diana Mensah, 49, and her two children were previously living in

Councillor Khevyn Limbajee, Cabinet Member for Housing at Waltham Forest Council said: “It


Countryside is proud to support Waltham Forest CounCil at mipim 2016

Images: CGIs showing the new development at Marlowe Road where we are building 436 new houses and flats and over 12,000 sq ft of retail and community

Countryside works in partnership with public and private sector organisations to regenerate housing estates and secure the provision of high quality mixed-use and mixed-tenure schemes. Our projects are developed with local authorities, housing associations and local communities, and, we regard partnering as key to delivering this. We have undertaken more than 45 estate regeneration schemes since the 1980s and we have been building new homes in London and the South East since 1958.

For further information visit and follow @CountrysideProp on Twitter for the latest news.


CONTENTS Editorial director Siobhán Crozier Editor David Blackman Sub-editor Maria Shahid Assistant editor James Wood Head of design Rachael Schofield Art direction Smallfury Designs Production assistant Chris Hazeldine Business development director Paul Gussar Business development managers Shelley Cook, Harry Seal Project manager Sue Mapara Subscriptions manager Simon Maxwell Managing director Toby Fox


Cover image: Linford Road mural by The Toasters, photo by Penny Dampier Images: Wood Street Walls, Penny Dixie, Loukia Photography, David Tothill, MEPK Architects, Simon Taylor |, Bywaters, Waltham Forest Council, Thierry Huque, PA Archive / Press Association Images, Tony Margiocchi, London Legacy Development Corporation, Pollard Thomas Edwards, Solum, Countryside, Keith Emmitt Photographer, Simon Harvey Photography |, Claire Haigh |, Wilder Creative, Wood Street Walls, Circle Housing, Gar PowellEvans, John Sturrock, ©TfL



6 News

37 Business support

What's happening in the initiatives driving the borough's regeneration.

Leyton’s business hotspot – why firms are now flocking to the borough.

Published by

10 Environment

41 Creative industries

Southbank House Black Prince Road London SE1 7SJ 020 7978 6840

Europe’s largest urban wetlands reserve is beginning to take shape in Walthamstow.

From street murals to a new creative hub: the arts projects that are kickstarting a cultural renaissance.

Waltham Forest Council Waltham Forest Town Hall 701 Forest Road, E17 4JF

16 Olympic legacy

45 Housing development

Tomorrow’s Olympians are getting a helping hand in Waltham Forest.

Why Waltham Forest is becoming a magnet for new housing.

21 Map and projects

50 Infrastructure

We locate and explore the borough's key development schemes.

A new train station opens up opportunities for homes and jobs.

31 Evening economy

54 Sitematch

Waltham Forest’s cafe and restaurant scene is thriving.

Development opportunity – the Webbs industrial estate.

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Subscriptions and feedback © 3Fox International Limited 2016. All material is strictly copyright and all rights are reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without the written permission of 3Fox International Limited is strictly forbidden. The greatest care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of information in this magazine at the time of going to press, but we accept no responsibility for omissions or errors. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of 3Fox International Limited.



BLACKHORSE LANE WINS £1.1m OF CREATIVE FUNDING A Creative Enterprise Zone in Blackhorse Road has been awarded £1.1 million. The funding from the Greater London Authority’s London Regeneration Fund follows a bid by Waltham Forest Council in October. It will be used to develop facilities for creative industries in the area that already hosts Blackhorse Workshop. The community-led space, which opened two years ago, was planned and designed by Turner Prize-winning architecture collective Assemble and shortlisted as best community-led project in the London Planning Awards. Facilities there, including metalwork and woodwork workshops, are used by hundreds of people every week. Councillor Clare Coghill,


(above, at Blackhorse Workshop), cabinet member for economic growth and high streets, said the project would transform underused space in the Blackhorse Lane area. “Our business mapping exercises have demonstrated the rising demand for tech and creative startup and move-on space. We need accommodation to meet the needs of newly established businesses, some of which have outgrown the incubator units in the Blackhorse Workshop.” Blackhorse Lane has also been identified as one of 24 areas to receive grants from the £20 million London Regeneration Fund. The fund aims to tackle the shortage of affordable workspaces for small businesses in the capital, particularly in the creative sector.

Station to reopen after 30 years Lea Bridge Station in Leyton, which has been closed for three decades, will take passengers this spring, following a Waltham Forest Council-led campaign to reopen it. The station will provide direct services to Stratford and Tottenham Hale and kickstart regeneration plans for the surrounding neighbourhood. The council, which owns a number of potential development sites around the station, has appointed consultants to draw up a masterplan for Lea Bridge and Leyton. It will consider how the reopening can act as a catalyst for unlocking the area’s growth. Find out more on page 50.

Date set for specialist housing delivery Housing for people with learning disabilities in Primrose Road, Leytonstone, will be available for tenants from March 2017, according to Newlon Housing Trust, which is developing a scheme there. Ten homes will be provided for rent and two for shared ownership. Designed by MEPK architects, they will exceed the mayor of London’s space standard. Each will have a private balcony or terrace, wet room, carpets and assistive technology.


Hadley unveils South Grove revamp plans Hadley Property Group has submitted development proposals for South Grove on the edge of Walthamstow town centre. The proposed scheme is the latest for the site, located on an underused car park, at which plans to build a Morrisons supermarket and 245 homes fell through in 2015 after the retailer pulled out. Danielle Torpey, a senior development manager at Hadley Property Group, said: “We believe there is a fantastic opportunity at South Grove to revitalise this part of the town centre with new homes for Londoners, including affordable housing, as well as new landscaped public spaces in a car-free and cycle-friendly development.” The developer conducted a second round of consultation in 2015, during which residents viewed the latest proposals.

OSCARS FOR THOSE BEHIND THE SCENE The joint venture partners behind a key development in Walthamstow town centre were recognised at the WhatHouse? Awards 2015 in November. The Scene, a scheme developed by a joint venture between Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association (ISHA), housebuilder Hill Group and Waltham Forest Council, received three prizes at the ‘Oscars’ of the housebuilding industry. Hill Group won a gold award for best development and best brownfield development, while the joint venture received the silver award for best partnership. Located near Walthamstow tube station, The Scene was completed in summer 2015, providing 121 homes, a ninescreen cinema and five restaurants. It also created 100 jobs, many of which went to local residents, according to ISHA. The development had previously proved successful at the National Housing Awards 2015 in September, which recognises commitment and achievements of housing associations across the country. On that occasion, ISHA won the ‘overall’ and the ‘best regeneration scheme’ awards for the project. The housing association celebrated the success with an event attended by the leader of Waltham Forest Council, Chris Robbins, the council’s lead member for housing, Khevyn Limbajee, ISHA’s chair Stephen Stringer and regional director of Hill Group, Simon Trice.

Museum conversion wins residents’ blessing A £4 million scheme to convert part of a Walthamstow museum into affordable housing has been given a thumbs up by its new residents. The development opened on 5 November after affordable homes provider Circle Housing Circle 33 turned part of Walthamstow Pumphouse Museum on South Access Road – previously used for storing old vehicles – into flats and family houses. The 21 properties for shared ownership and affordable rent were built using modern brick and steel to complement the existing museum. Each unit has access to either a private balcony or garden. Mario Cika, who was previously living with his family in temporary accommodation in Leytonstone, said: “It couldn’t be better – we think it’s a great development and we are very happy here.”


Leisure centre on track for delivery Waltham Forest Leisure Centre is the pool is used for gala events. It on track to open in autumn 2016. will also include a teaching pool The new facility being built next to and two diving boards. The gym the athletics track off Chingford will have 132 pieces of equipment, Road, on the former site of a four-court sports hall and an Waltham Forest Pool and Track, outdoor, floodlit artificial sports will be one of the largest sports pitch. An extreme sports zone will centres in London. It will feature feature a climbing wall, skateboard a 25m, eight-lane competition and BMX areas, and wet and dry pool. The 250 seats will ensure health and wellbeing spa areas as spectators get a good view when part of the SPA London brand. Capital & Regional explores mall development Capital & Regional is exploring proposals to expand The Mall in Walthamstow town centre. The commercial property company, which purchased The Mall almost 20 years ago, has said it is in the early stages of developing retailled proposals for the centre. Capital & Regional wants to capitalise on extensive refurbishment carried out there during the last two years. The company believes Walthamstow is ripe for further investment thanks to strong transport links and a growing population. Discount designer clothing outlet, TK Maxx, recently announced that it is opening a new shop, while Costa Coffee has also taken a unit.


Council launches design charter Waltham Forest Council has committed to delivering high-quality residential developments by launching a design charter. The charter, endorsed by several developers and housing associations including Barratt London, Bellway and Peabody, is an attempt to ensure new housing provision accords with high-quality design rules. Those signing up to its key principles will pledge to provide a mix of housing types and sizes that are "accessible for all". The buildings should also have high quality external and internal layout, promote energy efficiency, integrate with their surroundings and link with adjacent streets to create direct routes via which people can reach services including shops, schools and public transport.

Waste plant regeneration plans revealed Bywaters has revealed its of up to 15 storeys, grouped around intentions for a mixed-use a large green space, according redevelopment of its Leyton to pre-application documents recycling plant. The waste and due to be submitted to Waltham recycling company is planning 685 Forest Council. The development, residential units on the 5.22-ha site together with that of the nearby at Gateway Road. The scheme also Score Centre site, is a bid to includes 4,000sq m of commercial create a new housing quarter that floor space and 500sq m for a connects with existing residential variety of leisure uses. The homes areas and Leyton High Street to the will be accommodated in buildings wider Lea Valley.


Tudorvale Properties are delighted to be delivering this transformative local landmark in the London Borough of Waltham Forest. This fantastic scheme will provide 116 residential units together with artist studio space. For further details go to or visit the Marketing Suite at 80 Ruckholt Road, Leyton E10 5PG.

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LEYTONCENTRAL.COM | 020 3488 1588


Wetland Wonder London’s biggest nature reserve, and Europe’s largest urban wetland, is set to unfold across Walthamstow

IT’S A SITE THAT IS HIDDEN, surrounded as it is by tall metal fences and ‘keep out’ signs, where few realise the potential which is soon to be revealed. In just over a year’s time, the Walthamstow Wetlands, described by London mayor Boris Johnson as “London's best kept secret”, will be opening to the public when it becomes the capital’s biggest nature reserve. Not only that: the historic reservoirs will form the largest urban wetland nature reserve in Europe. Standing in the heart of the 212-ha site – which makes a significant contribution to Waltham Forest being north London’s greenest borough – it is difficult to imagine that you are close to some of the capital’s most densely populated neighbourhoods. But very few residents of neighbouring Walthamstow and


Leyton, apart from the anglers and bird watchers currently permitted to enter the site, will be aware of the hidden jewel on their doorsteps. At most, they will have occasionally glimpsed the reservoirs while travelling along the road or rail line, which bisect the vast site. “If you look at this place, it is often a blank space on the map,” says Councillor Clare Coghill, “It gives an impression of a very defensive site.” And that’s been the case ever since the 10 reservoirs that make up the site were carved out from the Lee Valley, from the mid 19th century onwards, to satisfy north London’s growing need for fresh water. Such a big expanse of open water inevitably became a haven for migrating wildfowl and, as a result, the reservoirs have been awarded a host of

ENVIRONMENT Left and below, not the typical view of London – Walthamstow Wetlands is set to become the capital's largest nature reserve.

THE WHOLE CULTURE OF THE PLACE IS GOING TO CHANGE wildlife designations. As well as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), the wetlands are also internationally recognised under the UN’s RAMSAR convention. However, few of those living in the surrounding residential neighbourhoods, which include some of north-east London’s most deprived postcodes, have ventured on to the vast site. Many households in the area are deemed to lack access to nature, based on the benchmark set by the government’s conservation adviser that everybody should live within one kilometre of good quality, accessible green space. Simply opening the reservoir’s gates will immediately give those households access to green space of a high standard, says David Mooney, east London regional development

manager at the London Wildlife Trust (LWT). There is plenty of evidence, he adds, that spending time in good quality green space is vital for physical and mental wellbeing. The main change, as a result of becoming a wildlife reserve, is that the public will be allowed on to the site during daylight hours. Three new entrances will be created to supplement the existing single access to the site. These new entrances will connect to a new 5.7km-long cycle and footpath which cuts through the site. This path will in turn link to the Lee Valley and Olympic parks, located to the north and south of the site respectively. “The whole culture of the place is going to change,” says Coghill. And to further open up the site to the public, the


original pumping house that sits at the main entrance will be restored and turned into a visitor centre, featuring a cafe, exhibition space, viewing terrace and educational facilities. The 1894 Marine Engine House, which is currently used as storage space, will feature information to help visitors interpret the site’s natural and industrial heritage together with a permanent exhibition about water. In addition, a viewing platform will be created in the Grade II-listed Coppermill, which sits at the southern edge of the site, permitting clear views of the reserve’s reservoirs. Waltham Forest secured a £4.4 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to carry out the work, which has been supplemented with just over £1 million from the council’s own coffers and £1.84 million from the site’s owners, Thames Water. However, the project won’t tamper much with the existing reservoirs, which will retain their current, vital function of supplying water to north London. “The area around the engine house will be a lot more welcoming, but we’re deliberately not doing a lot on the rest of the site. We want to keep that sense of wilderness, which is quite a rare thing: we want to keep the big skies,” says Mooney, who explains that more bird hides and reed beds will be added over the next 20 years with the eventual reintroduction of water vole also on the agenda.


As a first step though, the older reservoirs at the so-called ‘green heart’ of the site are being dredged and the 30,000 cubic metres of dislodged silt reused to create 2.5ha of new reed beds. This work, which won’t lead to any loss of the reservoirs’ water storage capacity, is expected to be complete by March 2016. These new reed beds will provide valuable breeding and feeding grounds for wading birds and should also improve the quality of the water before it is pumped into the site’s treatment works, he explains: “For thousands of years, reed has been a way of sucking impurities out of the water: the benefits far outweigh any additional bird poo.” Coghill believes that the project will also spur the borough’s regeneration. The wetlands will dwarf the RSPB’s 33-ha reserve at

ENVIRONMENT Far left, a cafe is proposed as part of the Walthamstow Wetlands project. Left, the Mini-Holland initiative aims to cut the number of cars on the road.

A LITTLE HOLLAND BY THE LEA Recent figures show that London exceeded its annual air quality targets just nine days into the new year, underlining the urgent need to tackle rising emission levels in the capital. Luckily for Waltham Forest residents, the council is promoting lifestyles that are less dependent on cars. Two years ago, the borough was one of three in outer London to be awarded cash by the Greater London Authority to improve cycling infrastructure. Waltham Forest received £27 million for cycling and walking projects under London mayor Boris Johnson’s Mini-Holland initiative. Spearheading the programme at the council is deputy leader and keen cyclist, Clyde Loakes. "It’s an uphill task", he says, observing how the borough’s roads date in large parts from the pre-car era, resulting in heavy congestion. Mini-Holland is reconfiguring roads and junctions to make it

easier to cycle into the borough’s town centres and villages, while preventing motorists from using residential back roads as rat runs to avoid clogged main routes. The most ambitious plan is to remodel the Lea Bridge Road, which will no longer primarily act as a through route, explains Loakes: “It will be a commercial destination rather than a way of getting from A to B. Creating safe infrastructure for people to walk gives an incentive to leave the car at home, particularly for those short journeys.” Loakes hopes the initiative will reduce emissions from vehicle exhaust fumes too. Mini-Holland is not a purely environmental project though, he says, pointing out that making it easier to cycle and walk will help tackle obesity. “Getting from A to B using those methods rather than simply jumping in the car has to be to the long-term benefit of residents of Waltham Forest,” he says, adding that children who

regularly exercise also perform better at school. Mini-Holland will also have spinoff boosts to the borough’s local economy because those taking their car to the shops tend to travel less frequently. “Evidence suggests that if you arrive on foot, by bike or public transport, you are more likely to linger longer and therefore more likely to spend more,” says Loakes. Spending so much money on cycling projects when public services are being cut is a hard sell, Loakes acknowledges, but he points out the money cannot be spent on other services. In addition, car culture is becoming less entrenched in Waltham Forest – more than half of the borough’s households are without cars. This reflects, Loakes believes, both the changing demographic and the growing popularity of car sharing. “People have been used to living in inner London without access to a car and they are bringing that behaviour to Waltham Forest.”



Even before it opens its gates, Walthamstow Wetlands already has a host of designations to underline its importance as a wildlife habitat. Its status as an SSSI stems from its national importance to migratory and wintering water birds; shoveler ducks, bittern and gadwall, but also breeding grey heron, cormorant and tufted duck.

Barnes in west London, currently the capital’s largest, which attracts around 250,000 visitors each year. She believes the Walthamstow Wetlands will be a regionally significant attraction, attracting nature lovers from across the capital. “It will become part of the London scene,” she says. The opening of the reserve will also be important in supporting the regeneration of the neighbouring Blackhorse Lane housing zone, where industrial units are making way for up to 2,500 homes on land that overlooks the reservoirs. “Having this amenity where you can access 200 hectares of green space is going to be a significant asset,” she says. Mooney, who has seen the similar – albeit much smaller – wetlands project take shape at Woodberry Down in nearby Manor House, agrees: “Regeneration is not just about access to transport, it’s about providing a range of improvements to infrastructure and one of these is physical access to green space. “Having one of Europe’s largest urban wetlands on your doorstep is fantastic.” He believes the wetlands will have the same kind of impact on local pride as the recent reopening of the William Morris Gallery. This sense of local ownership will be fostered by the fact that, unlike many nature reserves, the site will be free to visit. In addition, the LWT has already begun to offer sneak previews of the wetlands to teachers at neighbouring schools, encouraging them to factor visits to the wetlands into their syllabuses. But Mooney insists there are no plans to charge: “We are not into fortress conservation: this will be very inclusive.”


Above and below, migrating water birds pass through Walthamstow Wetlands, which will soon open to the public.

It also enjoys protection under the UN’s RAMSAR convention. The site is key for hundreds of thousands of birds that migrate every year through the Lea Valley. “Any sort of intervention along a key migratory route will benefit birds travelling through that corridor.” says the London Wildlife Trust’s Mooney. In particular, he believes that the reed beds will encourage more birds to spend the entire summer or winter in Walthamstow. “At the moment, there is less reason to stop because of a lack of food sources,” he says. The tern and the rarer great northern diver are among waterfowl that may spend more time at the site in the future.

Enhancing communities with thoughtfully designed new homes and public spaces.

Aldgate Place, E1

Barratt London is the market-leading residential developer in the Capital. With over 30 years’ experience we’ve helped - literally - shape one of the world’s most exciting, diverse and dynamic cities. Working in partnership with the London Borough of Waltham Forest, we are committed to delivering much-needed new homes and public realm to help develop a better Waltham Forest.

Computer generated images are for illustrative purposes only

Golden Years Olympians train at first class facilities in Waltham Forest, where the 2012 legacy continues to support residents and athletes alike to live more healthily DURING THE RUN-UP TO THE London 2012 Olympics, the legacy the Games would leave was of great importance in winning the bid. Hopes were particularly high for the six Olympic boroughs, of which Waltham Forest is one. But while there has been some criticism about the legacy that the Games has delivered, in Waltham Forest there are signs that the Olympics are leaving a more lasting impression.


Above, Paralympian Ryan Nicholls and opposite, second from left, Reece Prescod, who both receive support with council bursaries as contenders for Rio.


Spurred by a bursary programme managed through the University of East London, some of Waltham Forest’s talented athletes now have the chance to take part in the 2016 Rio Olympics. The programme began in 2012 and was developed by Waltham Forest Council with the Australian Olympics Committee, which contributed £30,000 towards the


scheme. The cash is providing bursaries for talented young athletes, helping them purchase kit, visit physiotherapists, travel to compete in events and book accommodation. Ten athletes were beneficiaries of the bursary in year one. The council matched the Australian Olympics Committee’s funding in year two when a further five joined the programme. In year three, the number of recipients was whittled down to five, in order to focus on those considered to have the best chance of qualifying for Rio. According to Joyce Guthrie, head of parks and leisure at Waltham Forest Council, the athletes are now approaching the required level to compete at Brazil’s Games. Chingford’s Ryan Nicholls is one of the borough’s biggest hopes. In 2013 and 2014, Nicholls won the national Sainsbury’s School Games Paralympics gold medal for 100m backstroke. In 2014, 1,600 athletes from around the country took part in the event, where Nicholls also won the 100m freestyle gold and 200m medley silver. He is now in the final stages of training for the Olympics and will compete at the British Para-Swimming Internationals in April. Nicholls seems confident of qualifying for Rio, paying tribute to the coaching, facilities and physiotherapy the bursary has allowed him to access. The Olympics are now on his mind: “It has been my ambition to compete for Great Britain at such an amazing event. I have worked hard over the past three years and I hope I can make my country, coach and family proud.” Sprinter Reece Prescod, who recently secured sponsorship with Nike, is another big hope. He tells Invest Waltham

TO PREPARE FOR THE OLYMPIC TRIALS, I'M GOING TO PHOENIX Forest how the bursary has helped him work towards his goal. “Without this bursary I wouldn’t be where I am now. I’ve worked with some brilliant coaches and the bursary has helped me access specialist clinics, paid for my membership at the Lee Valley Athletics Centre and allowed me to travel to Qatar to train at the Aspire Academy, which is probably the most amazing sports facility I’ve ever been to. “To prepare for the Olympic trials in June, I’m going to Phoenix, Arizona and I’ll have the chance to meet with top athletes. Getting advice from people at the top of their game really helps. Three years ago, I was running 200 metres at 23.1 seconds, and I’ve managed to reduce that to 20.7. I don’t know if that would have been possible without the help I have received.” Other aspiring Olympians who are recipients include sprinter Corinne Humphreys and shot put specialists Anthony Oshodi and Youcef Zatat. Council investment into leisure centres encourages the borough’s residents to keep healthy and active and plays


WALTHAMSTOW'S HARRY KANE IS LIKELY TO PLAY FOR ENGLAND IN 2016 a part in nurturing such talent. The new £26 million Waltham Forest Leisure Centre is being built next to the athletics track on the former site of Waltham Forest Pool and Track and is set to open in autumn 2016, when it will become one of London’s largest sports facilities. A 25m, eight-lane competition pool is being installed with 250 spectator seats. There will also be a teaching pool for beginners, while divers can practice flips and turns when jumping from one metre and three metre boards. The gym will feature 132 pieces of equipment, compared to 47 in the old centre. The new facility also boasts a four-court sports hall, wet and dry spas, an outdoor floodlit artificial pitch and an extreme sports zone, with a climbing wall, skateboard and BMX areas. It is the last of the borough’s leisure centres to be overhauled, following investment in facilities in Walthamstow, Leyton and Chingford. The effect of the Olympics on the borough was immediate, with a combined total of £550,000 of council funding used to resurface tennis courts in Abbotts Park and to install beach volleyball courts in Leyton. Sand was donated from the Olympic beach volleyball test event. Top left, Harry Kane, striking for Spurs, top right, Olympic hopeful Anthony Oshodi, centre, Waltham Forest Leisure Centre, bottom, Abbotts Park tennis courts.


And yet more schemes are coming forward. Funding from Sport England and the Lawn Tennis Association has seen Ridgeway Park’s tennis courts rebuilt.


At Salisbury Hall playing fields, the expansion of an old seven-a-side Astroturf soccer pitch into a full-sized one under floodlights may spur a new generation of players to follow in the footsteps of the borough’s famous footballers.

recycling plant which, together with development around The Score Centre, will create a new housing quarter that is designed to integrate existing residential areas and Leyton High Street into the wider Lea Valley.

Leytonstone is the birthplace of David Beckham, who honed his craft on the borough’s playing fields. And Walthamstow’s Harry Kane, who currently fires in the goals for Tottenham Hotspur, is likely to play for England at Euro 2016.

Work is currently under way to improve the entrance off Ruckholt Road from Leyton into the Eton Manor section of the Olympic Park, where the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre is located. Residents of the planned new developments will be a short walk from what has been dubbed the “northern gateway” to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, helping to create new communities which will directly benefit from its sporting facilities.

The borough has its own league football club in Leyton Orient, which helped deliver The Score Centre in the town. This is aimed at encouraging the local community to participate in sport, but is also used by Leyton Orient players, England’s handball team and the FA Futsal League. Sessions run by the Leyton Orient Trust include walking football for people aged over 50 and free youth training sessions. In addition to football pitches and indoor courts, the facility caters for table tennis, karate, aerobics, “boxercise”, tapeball cricket, indoor athletics, yoga and NFL flag football. Waltham Forest Council is identifying ways to improve leisure and community facilities at The Score Centre, as well as provide new housing. Detailed work is currently under way to shape future opportunities on the site and procure a development partner. Both the council and the Greater London Authority have identified Leyton as a key regeneration priority, part of an area designated as one of the latter’s 20 housing zones. An outline planning application for 730 homes is due to be submitted shortly for the former Bywaters’ waste and

Leyton could also profit from plans to create Olympicopolis in the Olympic Park. The London mayor’s project will provide cultural and educational opportunities for residents. The Victoria and Albert Museum and Sadler’s Wells Theatre will be part of the hub, while University College London will move to a site near the Orbit sculpture. Private investors have pledged £45 million for the project in November 2015, according to The Guardian. Since the London 2012 Olympics, the leisure offer in Waltham Forest has improved and not just because of the council’s investment to offer excellent new sporting facilities. As the Games become a fond memory of a time when London showed its best face to the world, the authority is building on this investment into sport and leisure through a network of support for talented athletes. And while Waltham Forest’s sprinters and swimmers are waiting with anticipation on the summer’s festivities in Rio, investors see the benefit of developing new communities in one of London’s top sporting boroughs.





FEATUREDINPROJECTS 1. South Grove 2. Walthamstow Central 3. Ferry Lane 4. Watkins Jones student housing 5. Marlowe Road 6. The Eclipse 7. Bywaters 8. The Mall Walthamstow 9. The Scene 10. 97 Lea Bridge Road

HIGHAMS PARK Highams Park A406

ADDITIONALPROJECTS 11. The Wharf 12. Banbury Park 13. The Exchange, Leyton 14. Walthamstow Stadium 15. Sutherland Road 16. Lea Bridge station 17. Montague Road





Major road links M11, A12, M25 6 mins WOOD STREET


Stansted Airport 33 mins by train

4 BLACKHORSE LANE 3 6 Blackhorse Road

Central London 11 mins by tube



Tottenham Hale



St. James Street




Stansted Airport 32 mins by road

Wood Street

Walthamstow Central


Central London 15 mins by train

A12 Leyton Midland Road


Lea Bridge


11 10



Road Housing zone

Leytonstone High Road


Rail line Walthamstow Wetlands




Canary Wharf 15 mins by road

Eton Manor Olympic Park

London City Airport 19 mins by road


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The Mall, Walthamstow, London E17 7LT



SOUTH GROVE Waltham Forest Council approved a bespoke planning blueprint in September 2015 for the South Grove site, which is a key regeneration area in Walthamstow town centre. Currently used by the local authority as a car park and truck stop with a small number of offices and light industrial units, the St James/South Grove supplementary planning document envisages the area being transformed into a new and vibrant residential neighbourhood.

The site’s developers, a joint venture between Hadley Property Group and investors Osprey, aim to build 473 homes, which will be targeted toward a mixture of first-time buyers and private renters. Hadley describes Walthamstow as "fast becoming synonymous with high living standards and economic growth". The homes will be grouped in a mix of apartment buildings, designed by architect Pollard Thomas Edwards, featuring a 12-storey block that

will form the gateway to the site. Discussions are also taking place about the potential for delivering a new health centre to replace the existing surgery at St James Street. In addition, the site will be bisected by a new landscaped east-west pedestrian and cycle link. The area’s regeneration is already starting with a planning application submitted by developer Metropolitan & Suburban for new homes on the adjacent Brunner Road site.


WALTHAMSTOW CENTRAL PHASE TWO Plans have been approved for phase two of the Walthamstow Central project, which aims to upgrade the area surrounding the town centre’s main underground and railway hub. Waltham Forest Council’s planning committee granted consent in August last year for 79 new homes and a three-unit shop space. The plans were submitted by Solum Regeneration, a joint venture between Network Rail and Kier Property to generate income by developing underused railway land to fund improvements to stations. The phase two scheme is set to reinforce the station as a gateway into Walthamstow by providing new retail space, cycling facilities and enhancing the station’s environment.


The existing surface car park at the station will be retained and £500,000 invested to improve the space by making it safer. The phase two project will create an estimated 120 new jobs for the local economy. Phase one of the Walthamstow Central scheme has already delivered £20 million of investment, including new homes, a Travelodge hotel and new shops. In addition, around 150 people have been employed during the construction of phase one. Peter Hughes, Solum Regeneration director, said: “This further investment that we are making demonstrates the confidence that we have in the area and will bring more high quality homes to Walthamstow.”


FERRY LANE Legal & General intends to submit a planning application this spring for a pioneering private rented development at Ferry Lane in the Blackhorse Lane Housing Zone. It would redevelop an ageing, largely vacant industrial estate with a residential-led, mixed-use scheme that will face the soon to open Walthamstow Wetlands. The project will feature about 400 homes, with flats offered at longer lease lengths, of up to five years, than typical private rented stock. The scheme will also provide a range of units of different sizes, some at a discounted market rent for local households on lower incomes. The development will include upwards of 1,000sq m of new commercial space, as well as parking for 700 bikes and a communal garden. The project could create up to 90 long-term jobs.

MARLOWE ROAD Work is expected to begin this spring on the regeneration of the Marlowe Road council estate after planning permission was granted in November 2015. Waltham Forest Council’s planning committee gave consent for the £130 million scheme to revamp the estate, which lies to the north of Wood Street station and to the east of Walthamstow town centre. Under the plans, drawn up by architect Stitch for Countryside, the number of homes will increase from 214 to 436. This will be achieved by demolishing the existing low-rise housing on the estate and replacing it with taller blocks, reaching up to seven storeys.

WATKIN JONES STUDENT HOUSING Watkin Jones is due to complete a student housing development in Blackhorse Lane next year. The scheme, which the contractor is building for Curlew Capital, consists of a single block of 527 student beds over seven storeys, built around a central landscaped courtyard. The purpose-built student accommodation will include 45 studios and 482 cluster bedrooms. The scheme, which is scheduled to complete in August 2017, has been designed by architects Stride Treglown.

Of the dwellings, 150 will be council properties, including a higher proportion of larger homes than currently on the estate. Northwood Tower is 20 storeys and contains 100 flats, which will be retained under the regeneration plans. The plan also includes a redesigned central plaza north and more than 1,000sq m of commercial space. The work will be carried out in five phases with building expected to start in the spring or summer. Richard Cherry, chief executive of Countryside’s partnerships division, said the scheme would bring back traditional tree-lined streets to link with the area.


THE ECLIPSE A partnership between Taylor Wimpey and social landlord One Housing is delivering 476 apartments at Eclipse, half a mile north of Walthamstow town centre. The scheme includes 61 affordable homes for local people and key workers.

The 2.76-ha site, which is designated for mixed-use development in the Blackhorse Lane Area Action Plan, was previously occupied by a collection of industrial units, the largest of which housed the Mandora mannequin factory.

The development, which is located in the Blackhorse Lane Housing Zone, offers one, two and threebedroom apartments.

One of the site’s existing buildings, the 1930s Gnome House, has been retained as a centre for creative industries.

Eclipse is near Blackhorse Road station, which is linked to central London on the Victoria line and an Overground service on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.

The redevelopment of the site also aims to open up access to the Walthamstow reservoirs, immediately to the west of the site, by the creation of a linear park.



BYWATERS Bywaters has unveiled plans for the mixed-use redevelopment of its waste recycling plant at Leyton. The waste and recycling company, which has operated in the area since 1918, has revealed to Waltham Forest Council its plans for 685 homes on the 5.2-ha site on Gateway Road. The homes will be accommodated in buildings of up to 15 storeys, grouped around a large green space in the middle of the site, which is located in the Northern Olympic Park section of Waltham Forest’s housing zone. In addition, 4,000sq m of commercial space and a new school could be delivered on the site. Green ‘buffers’ of land would be created either side to cut noise from the adjacent railway line. The proposed development is less than a 10-minute walk from both Leyton and Lea Bridge stations, the latter of which is due to reopen in May 2016. The existing waste recycling activities will be relocated elsewhere in east London. The plans will also result in the movement of a storm water facility, owned by Thames Water.

THE MALL PHASE TWO Capital & Regional is consulting this spring on proposals to extend The Mall in Walthamstow town centre. The commercial property company is in the early stage of developing retail-led proposals for Walthamstow’s major shopping centre, which it purchased almost 20 years ago. The proposals will be developed in line with Waltham Forest Council’s overarching vision for the town centre, which Capital & Regional has described as ripe for further investment thanks to its strong transport links and growing population. The mooted extension follows the extensive refurbishment that the company has carried out over the last two years at The Mall.


THE SCENE The Scene, which brought cinema back to Walthamstow after more than a decade, has won the award for best mixed-use development at the recent Sunday Times Homes Awards.

The apartments sit on top of a 1200-seat, nine-screen Empire Cinema and five commercial units, including Nandos, Turtle Bay and Pizza Express restaurants.

The scheme, located at Cleveland Place, is a joint venture between Hill Partnerships, Waltham Forest Council and Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association.

The site, which was once home to the Arcade shopping centre, has been the subject of several failed attempts at redevelopment following the centre's demolition.

Designed by architect Pollard Thomas Edwards, it has delivered 48 homes for private sale and 73 for affordable rent and shared ownership.

This comes as the second prize for The Scene after it was named as overall winner in last year’s National Housing Awards.

97 LEA BRIDGE ROAD Hill Residential has outlined proposals for 300 homes to be situated opposite the soon to be reopened Lea Bridge Station. The company has also included a gym, shops and underground parking in its scheme for the site, located across the road from the new station, which is considered by Waltham Forest Council as a key gateway into the borough. The site, which is no longer designated as a Strategic Industrial Location, is currently occupied by warehouse and commercial buildings that range in height from two to five storeys. The plans for the new development contain three buildings, which could be up to 18 storeys high, under designs presented to Waltham Forest by architect Pollard Thomas Edwards. One fifth of the scheme’s 300 flats, which range in size from one to three bedrooms, will be earmarked for affordable housing. Proposed shop units and a gym will be located on the main street fronts.


Building a gateway for


THE PLACE TO BE SCENE: Walthamstow’s newest leisure destination



World on a plate Food lovers need never go hungry in Leyton and Walthamstow as restaurants serving cuisine from across the world open for business WITHIN SIGHT OF THE ARENA that showcased the world's best athletes at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, lies a street serving up cuisine from many of the globe’s tastiest corners. Colourful Leyton High Road can offer gold-medal cuisine from Morocco, Lebanon, France, Pakistan, Somalia, Portugal, Turkey and Spain, to name just a few. This variety reflects the area's own ethnic diversity, and showcases an

emerging culinary reputation which attracts people from the local area and well beyond. Leyton is also benefiting from an award-winning scheme to improve shop fronts, pioneered by Waltham Forest Council in 2011. The ÂŁ1 million investment saw the shop fronts of 43 businesses along the High Road receive a colourful makeover. The initiative has since been rolled out to several other town centres in the borough. Among the popular


eateries in Leyton to benefit from this scheme were the Portuguese and Brazilian delicatessen Palmeira, Turkish restaurant Anatolia, and the tapas grill Sangria. The council now places greater emphasis on the borough's night-time economy, viewing it as key to unlocking the potential for growth. In its action plan for Walthamstow town centre, the authority sets out its vision for a ‘vibrant urban town centre’ that will build on the famous street market. This vision is now turning into reality. Empire Cinemas opened in November 2014 as part of a major development scheme in Walthamstow town centre that also included five new restaurants serving Thai, Caribbean and Italian cuisine among others.





Leyton Technical, a gastro pub on the ground floor of the recently renovated Grade II-listed Leyton Municipal Offices, opened soon after the completion of the shop fronts project and was able to fully capitalise on the area's newfound vitality. Among the Technical's regular customers is the London Evening Standard's food critic Grace Dent - surely a good sign if ever there was one. "I'm in the Leyton Tech drinking Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and eating a Barnsley lamb chop far too often," she once wrote in a column. Dent also had warm words for The Red Lion in Leytonstone: "The chicken and tarragon pie makes my heart sing."

Above and far left, gastro pubs and quality restaurants are part of Waltham Forest's culinary offer. Popular comedian Stewart Lee (left) performs at Ye Olde Rose and Crown on Hoe Street.

Leyton Technical and The Red Lion are pubs owned by Antic London and both opened shortly before the London 2012 Games in renovated buildings. Following the success of these two venues, Antic acquired the iconic former EMD Cinema in Walthamstow. Built in 1930, it had been derelict for the past decade. But at the end of last year Antic opened its doors again as a pop-up pub, and has further plans in the pipeline. Other notable pubs include Ye Olde Rose and Crown on Hoe Street, where top standup comedians such as Stewart Lee, Alan Carr and Robin Ince perform regularly.

The Bell in Forest Road was listed as one of the top five places in Walthamstow by the Time Out Love London awards 2015 and named East London Pub of the Year 2015 by the Campaign for Real Ale, thanks in large part to its popular menu of pub classics, and a welcoming and familyfriendly atmosphere. Antic London's company director Anthony Thomas says he is happy with the part his firm is playing in the borough's rejuvenation. "The area continues to attract Londoners, both seasoned veterans and new arrivals, as the centre of the capital shifts," he explains. "Both the Red Lion and Leyton Technical have become integral parts of the communities they serve, so we're delighted with the very positive impact they have had. Our hands are now pretty full with the regeneration of the EMD Cinema so we can put the building firmly back at the heart of all things Walthamstow. "Waltham Forest Council has been hugely supportive and really understands the worth of a proper pub in providing cohesiveness in rapidly changing areas such as these. "Councils will often say what they would like to see, but Waltham Forest is actively encouraging what they believe is right for the borough."

The venue is also well known for its upstairs theatre and live music, including jazz and blues.



Above and left, artisanal delights permeate Waltham Forest's delis, shops and cafes.

New artisan coffee shops and trendy cafes seem to be opening on a regular basis across Walthamstow. Typical of the establishments springing up in the area is Wynwood Cafe. Wynwood boasts a range of striking modern art and not just hanging on its walls, but painted on them too. Combining art with coffee and cake is apparently a winning combination.

Walthamstow is already famous for its eclectic street market, the longest daily outdoor market in Europe. Council investment recently created several new alfresco seating areas, helping to promote a cafe culture and better integrate the high street's foodie scene with the diverse collection of stalls from the market. Last autumn saw the introduction of a brand new attraction in the town square, Walthamstow Twilight Market. Offering a mouth-watering selection of multicultural street food and outdoor bars, the market is run by the same organisation behind the successful Brixton Twilight Market in south London. In Walthamstow, the council is keen for the new monthly market to give local food and drink traders opportunities to sell their products. So many restaurants, pubs and cafes dotted all over Waltham Forest today add up to an exciting scene, and are helping to place the borough among London's best destinations for food, drink and evening entertainment.


"We named the cafe after the art district in Miami," Wynwood owner, Tiggy Taliadoros says. "We sell work by local artists and a group painted a mural on the walls of our patio garden. "People come in for a coffee and leave with a painting. I never expected it to be this popular this quickly – we only opened just over a year ago. "I've lived in Walthamstow all my life and seen the area change a lot in three years. Once you get one business like this opening in an area it seems to attract more. Initially I wasn't sure the cafe would work in this location but now the area is thriving and we all help each other to succeed."

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Seeds of Growth

Below, Blackhorse Workshop is at the centre of the burgeoning creative sector, based around Blackhorse Lane.

Businesses are flocking to Waltham Forest, attracted by key employment hotspots such as Blackhorse Lane and Lea Bridge Road DAVID BLACKMAN

LONDON IS BECOMING A TOUGHER place to do business, particularly for startups in the creative industries. Rents are soaring in inner city areas, where there are also mounting pressures to convert business space into flats, thanks to recently introduced government rules easing such change of uses. However, Hackney and Islington’s loss is Waltham Forest’s gain with many firms relocating to the borough, attracted by its competitive advantages and good value for money. Economic development consultancy Regeneris recently drew up a report on Waltham Forest’s economy for the council, which has adopted the strapline ‘Keep, Seed and Grow’ for its business support efforts. The study found that Waltham Forest’s economy is growing faster than in the

capital as a whole, even though it remains relatively small within the wider London context. Between 2009 and 2014, the borough’s economy expanded by an impressive 26%, compared to an average of 17% across the capital. Part of this is down to the influx of new residents in neighbourhoods such as Leytonstone and Walthamstow, some of whom are choosing to work from home. Another factor is the growth of creative businesses in areas such as Blackhorse Lane and Chingford. Blackhorse Lane, in the borough’s housing zone, in particular, is seeing an influx of creative industries and workspace provision. According to Chris Paddock, a director at Regeneris: “Businesses are looking to Waltham Forest because it is close to their markets and where their staff live, but it’s a


Above Green Man & Van and below, founding directors Edwards and Lee. Opposite, architectural joinery at Wilder Creative.

industrial property, backed by American investment funds, which intends to improve the estate and enhance its offer to existing and potential new businesses. This willingness by international investors to stake a claim in the burgeoning borough signals the attractive opportunities offered by Waltham Forest, which were spotted by removals firm Green Man & Van. The company moved to the Argall estate a little more than two years ago when the Shoreditch Park warehouse they had set up in was knocked down for flats.

IT HAS BECOME A CENTRAL POINT FOR THE COMMUNITY lot cheaper. As leases are renewed in Hackney, people are moving to Waltham Forest. Hackney did well to capitalise on that [growth] 10 years ago and Waltham Forest can capitalise on it now.” In line with this trend, Lea Bridge’s Argall Industrial Estate saw investment in 2015 by a long-term holder of London


“There was no room for expansion or even anywhere to move to. It was impossible to find new accommodation where we were because everywhere was earmarked for redevelopment,” says Rich Edwards, one of the firm’s two founding directors. “We could have kept vehicles at home and not had an office but it would’ve been a step backwards.” In addition to being displaced, they wanted extra space to accommodate their growing business, which is just about to acquire its fifth van. The company found that the quality of the premises on the Argall estate, which is covered by one of the borough’s two dedicated business improvement districts, was much better than that on offer in nearby Stratford. “They were a similar price but had holes in the roof and pigeons everywhere: it was a no-brainer,” says Edwards, adding that the estate is well located. “We wanted to be as close to central London as possible. It’s important for us that we can get our vans in and out fairly quickly.”


The estate’s access roads into inner London can become congested during rush hour – to be expected in any capital city – partly due to the physical barrier created by the neighbouring Walthamstow marshes. However, such a location makes up with other important advantages, chips in his business partner Adam Lee: “We both have dogs which we walk every day so we get the benefit of a really lovely green space.” Dominic Wilder tells a similar tale. The warehouse in London Fields, where he had set up Wilder Creative, his architectural joinery business, was also redeveloped. Added to that, he says, business rents in London Fields had more than quadrupled since he originally let the property nearly a decade ago. “E8 is no longer tenable for creatives,” says Wilder. He found landlords of the dilapidated, former electrical factory on the Argall estate, which he has moved into, were open to his vision of subletting the space to smaller enterprises. “We told them that we wanted the rest of the building to create a vibrant community of young creatives – this little quarter of Lea Bridge is going to be a new hive of that kind of activity.” Green Man & Van has found that while they chose Lea Bridge due to its proximity to central London, it is increasingly picking up local customers. “A few years ago we were moving people to Homerton and now we are moving a lot of people to Leyton and Walthamstow,” says Edwards. And everybody is enthusiastic about the reopening of

Lea Bridge station, a brisk five minute walk from the estate, which will link with the rail hubs at Stratford and Tottenham Hale. Edwards says: “The station opening will be great for our guys getting in and out of work. Having a train station will make a difference, too, in making the area more attractive.” Wilder agrees: “The opening of Lea Bridge train station is going to have a massive effect. It will only be five minutes to the Jubilee line and Tottenham Hale so this little spot is going to be very well connected.” The borough is definitely on the move, he believes: “When I moved in [to London Fields], the streets smelt of engine oil. By the time I left, they smelt of coffee. You can see that ripple effect happening here.”



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CREATIVE INDUSTRIES Left and below, brightening up the borough; examples of recent murals painted in public spaces across Waltham Forest.

Art Decade From street murals to new community-run venues, culture is becoming part of everyday life in Waltham Forest JAMES WOOD

AS ARTISTS ARE PRICED OUT of inner London, they are flocking to Waltham Forest, cementing the borough's reputation as a creative hotspot. Cultivating this cultural boom, the council is supporting street artists and providing studio space for budding painters and craftspeople. An example of this creative flurry is Wood Street Walls, a collective established in September 2014 by Mark Clack and Tom Jackson. The group aims to find locations for public installations, create affordable studios for artists and run free workshops for residents.


Left, a Wood Street Walls mural near the popular Ye Olde Rose and Crown pub in Walthamstow. Below, the Blackhorse Workshop.

Made up of six people, Wood Street Walls has now worked on 25 murals across Waltham Forest, several of which have been self-funded. Commissions from local businesses and organisations see the group work to briefs on the style and content of murals to adorn buildings around the borough. One mural depicting a fox was painted on a wall near Walthamstow's Ye Olde Rose and Crown pub. Another commission will see the words We Love E17 – as voted for by the public – painted opposite Walthamstow Central station. Deciding on the designs for murals involves engaging with the community. In October, working with a street artist and Walthamstow resident who goes by the name of ATMA, Clack and co asked for suggestions about creating a mural on West Avenue Bridge in Walthamstow. The project has now been completed and the bridge closed to traffic as a result of the Mini-Holland cycling scheme. Elsewhere, the group has worked with housing provider East Thames to paint a mural at the developer’s Forest Road project. A workshop was held with students at Waltham Forest College, who provided ideas and input ahead of its installation in January 2016. In the meantime, one of Wood Street Walls’ major objectives, to establish permanent affordable studios for artists in the borough – leading to free workshops for residents, is progressing well. A crowdfunding target for the studios has been reached – the group has raised £39,000, which includes an £18,000 grant from the Mayor of London’s High Street Fund. Discussions are now under way


with the council to find an appropriate site for the space. Waltham Forest is a local authority which is committed to the borough’s art scene. One initiative includes turning a former council office block into an interim creative hub, at Central Parade, on Hoe Street, which is set to launch in spring 2016 after internal refurbishment. This work is being supported using the mayor’s £670,000 High Street Fund grant for Walthamstow town centre. Gort Scott Architects and NPS London are designing a mix of studios, offices, incubator spaces, retail units and flexible workspaces for local artists and creative entrepreneurs. A wide range of cultural events, such as exhibitions and screenings, will be held in the centre’s large communal cafe in a bid to involve the community. Meanwhile Space, a community interest company with a track record of tackling underused buildings, will manage the scheme when it is up and running. The creative hub is intended to stimulate Walthamstow’s evening economy, potentially forging links with Blackhorse Workshop and the William Morris Gallery, which reopened in 2012 following a major redevelopment. The latter’s current artist in residence is Rosalind Fowler, who will be “exploring the connections between William Morris’ ‘ecotopian’ ideals and Waltham Forest’s expanding network of urban food growing sites” throughout 2016. Meanwhile, Gnome House, which launched last year in the borough’s Blackhorse Lane opportunity area, features a


IT HAS BECOME A CENTRAL POINT FOR THE COMMUNITY printmaking studio managed by Inky Cuttlefish (pictured above) and space for performances and exhibitions. So far, Gnome House has hosted a dance class for disabled children and seriously injured Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans, regular jazz evenings from E17 Jazz, dance classes in ballet, tap and street dance and performances including the Forest Philharmonic Orchestra (above right), which played there as part of the Stow Festival in September 2015. There is also mounting excitement over a film festival, penciled in for 2016. Mark Burton, one of three volunteer directors who runs Gnome House, says: “We’re pleased with progress. It is being used for the purposes we intended it for and has really become a central point for the creative community.” In addition, the council has secured £1.1 million from the mayor of London for Blackhorse Lane to develop a

Creative Enterprise Zone. This will transform underused space in the area to provide more workshops and space for tech and creative startups (see more, page six). Another boost for Leytonstone and its creative residents in August 2015 was the relaunch of its Grade II-listed library, which had been closed for nearly a year while a £1.5 million refurbishment project took place. The combination of a council that strives to give creative people space to operate in, together with a stream of ideas for artistic projects from the community, mean cultural Waltham Forest looks set to continue flourishing.


Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association

In partnerships with LB Walthamstow and Hill Group, ISHA played a leading role in the development of the Scene, in central Walthamstow. This is a landmark development for the area – acting as a catalyst for on-going local regeneration and investment.

Higham Hill Rd - The design reflects the existing street vernacular whilst maximizing the amount of accommodation provided by dividing the first floor between two maisonettes. It was selected as “Scheme of the Year” in the 2014 Waltham Forest Design Awards

As illustrated, ISHA is committed to high quality, sustainable design. We work on large or small developments, often in partnership with developers.

We lead the North River Alliance and together we have built 552 homes in Waltham Forest since 2010, investing £100m and attracting grant of £40m. We are award-winning developers who punch well above our weight. For further queries, please contact Colin Archer, Director of Development and New Business on 0207 704 7301,


Upwardly Mobile While newcomers flock to Waltham Forest amid rising property prices, the council is determined to ensure that existing residents can still call it home DAVID CALLAGHAN

WALTHAM FOREST IS CHANGING RAPIDLY as young, well-educated people move to the borough. A quarter of the population is now judged to be in the ‘rising prosperity’ category, according to consumer analysis group CACI Acorn’s population classification. House prices are certainly a big incentive, with Walthamstow, Leyton and Leytonstone among some of the more affordable parts of the capital. Flats start at around the £147,000 currently being quoted by housing association Circle for its Banbury Park development near Blackhorse Lane, while in longer-established parts of Walthamstow

there is a wide selection of two-bedroom flats in the £250,000 to £300,000 price bracket. There is also a host of terraced starter homes available from £350,000, a fraction of the sums demanded in more central locations. With a fast tube link provided by the Victoria line, as well as access to the Central line and Overground rail, these areas are well connected. Meanwhile Chingford, in the borough's suburban north, features larger houses. Families are attracted by improving Ofsted ratings at local schools, which have provided more than 7,000 extra places since 2010.


There are also some excellent leisure facilities with the new Waltham Forest Leisure Centre being built to replace a 75 year-old pool on Chingford Road in Walthamstow. It will be one of the largest in London when it opens later this year, boasting a swimming pool and diving boards. At the same time, the borough’s four existing leisure centres have recently been refurbished and have new facilities.


For families, events such as the Park Off competition are organised. This sees people representing each of the borough’s parks competing against each other in burpee fitness challenges, wheelbarrow races and a tug of war. There is also a music, theatre, film and dance weekend in Lloyd Park in the summer called the Walthamstow Garden Party, which is organised by the Barbican Centre. These attractions have helped to spur regeneration schemes in key locations. The Scene development with homes and restaurants has been built in Walthamstow town centre. This complex features an Empire multiplex that makes up for loss of the old EMD (Granada) cinema, which is itself lined up for conversion into a concert, comedy and theatre venue – it is currently operating as a pop-up pub. Walthamstow Central station is being redeveloped, with a hotel, apartments and shops already built, and proposals for more homes, shops and an upgraded station entrance. Kenny Goad, who runs The Stow Brothers estate agency in Walthamstow with his brother Andrew, describes how the borough is evolving: “It is very exciting and pretty remarkable. I live off Wood Street, and Wood Street station has changed so much, with lots of people wearing suits using it now. “People are prepared to pay £3.20 for a coffee or £450,000 for a two-bedroom flat. They are moving here from places like Belsize Park, St John’s Wood and Hampstead. “It used to be the case that people didn’t want to say they were from Walthamstow, and if they did, no one knew where it was,” he says. “Walthamstow was synonymous with dirty mattresses; now it is street parties.” He believes that improvement of the area’s schools is a major factor in making Waltham Forest a more attractive place to live; people moving into the borough are putting down roots with the intention of moving up the housing ladder, whereas previously many would have only stayed here temporarily. The council is also keen to play its part by promoting regeneration schemes, both for its existing residents and people moving in.


Above and below, Banbury Park flats. Right top, The Scene development. Below right, Walthamstow Garden Party.


It plans to facilitate the delivery of 12,000 homes over the next few years, while building around 2,000 new dwellings itself to help people in need of affordable accommodation. An example of this approach to resident-focused regeneration can be seen in the £130 million demolition and rebuilding of the Marlowe Road housing estate, which will more than double the number of homes on the estate from 214 to 436. The existing 150 council homes there will be replaced as part of the council’s efforts to provide affordable housing for existing residents, preserving their strong association and affinity with the area. Goad’s only concern about the local housing market is that with house prices and rental values are rising so quickly, it is increasingly difficult for people to find somewhere affordable to live. This underlines the importance of the council’s efforts to promote affordable housing. The private sector is playing its part in meeting these needs. Legal & General is developing proposals for a purely rental scheme on the former Ferry Lane industrial estate, close to Blackhorse Road underground station. The £150 million scheme will include around 400 flats, and Legal & General will run the site for up to 60 years.


Above, the hugely popular 2015 Walthamstow Garden Party. Below, the Marlowe Road estate.


The rents are expected to be affordable, with increases fixed at the outset tied to inflation, and there will be flexible tenancies of one to five years. With new developments regenerating the borough, the look and feel of the area is changing. So how will Waltham Forest develop in the future? Will it become a new Hackney, Clapton or Stratford? Interest in Waltham Forest has generated the trend towards the ‘rising prosperity’ group becoming the main source of new residents. With new entertainment and leisure facilities and improving schools on offer, Waltham Forest is increasingly a place where young people are likely to settle and consider raising a family. Easy access to the City and central London, as well as being close to the leafy edge of Epping Forest, means the borough is well placed to meet the requirements posed by its changing demographic. Waltham Forest is taking steps to improve its offer to new residents, while ensuring its existing population is not forgotten. It continues to evolve into one of London’s most upwardly mobile areas, as new residents join people whose parents and grandparents have long lived in the area. The new metropolitan influx is also drawn to Waltham Forest's diversity and its cosmopolitan character, a borough where communities are at ease and vibrant, and where young people or families choose to settle and thrive.


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Age of the Train


A new train station is set to open up opportunities for jobs and homes in Waltham Forest, and will be of interest to developers too


INFRASTRUCTURE Left, when Lea Bridge station reopens in May 2016, journeys to airports and employment hubs will be shortened. Image shows an initial design for a potential development.

ON 15 MAY, A TRAIN IS SCHEDULED to call at Lea Bridge station for the first time in 30 years, bringing one of Waltham Forest’s main growth areas back on to the national rail network. It will provide quick links to the major transport interchange and employment area at Stratford and to Stansted airport, as well as Heathrow via Crossrail. Lea Bridge closed in 1985, after 145 years in service, by which time very few trains called there and the surrounding area had declined. The new £12 million station is projected by Transport for London (TfL) to serve around 352,000 passengers a year by 2031. The new Lea Bridge station is part of wider regeneration plans for the surrounding area. A 2014 Waltham Forest Council cabinet report, issued when the authority approved its contribution to the station rebuilding, set out its importance to wider regeneration goals. The station is a priority: besides facilitating new homes and jobs in deprived areas to the south of the borough, it will greatly improve access to leisure opportunities in the Lea Valley Regional Park and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The council is developing plans for land around the site, including a new station building fronting Lea Bridge Road. The only calling service initially will be the existing halfhourly service from Stratford to Bishop’s Stortford. When it reopens, journeys to both Stratford and Tottenham Hale stations will be just five minutes each. The Bishop’s Stortford line also provides fast access to London Stansted Airport, while in the opposite direction Stratford is an interchange for London Underground and Overground and National Rail services into East Anglia. Stratford is a key hub in terms of Crossrail too. When the full service begins in 2019, 12 trains per hour will travel between Stratford and central London during peak periods. The Crossrail route will run from Reading to Shenfield in Essex, with Liverpool Street just one stop away, and Heathrow airport reachable in just 43 minutes. By 2018 a third track is planned for the line between Stratford and Angel Road. This would mean a more frequent ‘turn up and go’ combined service running at 15-minute intervals.


Above and right, Overground and future Crossrail options provide Waltham Forest residents with superb connectivity.

LEA BRIDGE STATION WILL REALLY HELP OPEN LEYTON UP The major regeneration opportunities around Lea Bridge station include an application for a residential tower at 97 Lea Bridge Road. The council is working with appointed consultants on a masterplan for Lea Bridge and Leyton. Already though, a substantial population lives within walking distance of the station. In addition, Argall Avenue and other industrial estates bring some 5,000 jobs within a kilometre of the station. There are also plans to refurbish the nearby Blackhorse Road station, served by both the Victoria line and an Overground service from Gospel Oak to Barking – to be extended to the regeneration area at Barking Riverside. The new station fits wider regeneration plans, as the area around Lea Bridge forms part of the housing zone. The first phase of development will take place north around Blackhorse Lane and later to the south towards Leyton along the spine of the Orient Way road. This is expected to deliver some 1,000 new jobs by 2025, as well as new homes. The council is talking to


residents and considering planning approaches as to where that development will go. Councillor Chris Robbins, leader of Waltham Forest Council, says: “Lea Bridge station will really help open Leyton up for growth, with better and faster links to some of London’s crucial transport hubs and make it a more attractive prospect for developers, businesses and residents. “We have committed to making it happen, and it will form the centrepiece of wider plans to rejuvenate the area and create a new Leyton village, spurring even more regeneration and change. “Developers are already seeing the potential Leyton has to offer, helping to establish our little corner of London as a real contender as a place to do business, as well as somewhere to buy a home and raise a young family.” In just a few weeks’ time, this isolated area will be back on the rail network and ready for investors to take advantage of these opportunities.


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Webbs site The Greater London Authority working with Waltham Forest Council will be seeking a development partner to further progress the Blackhorse Lane creative quarter HUUB NIEUWSTADT

A NUMBER OF VACANT or underused industrial sites are located within the Sutherland Road area of Waltham Forest. This is part of both the Blackhorse Lane growth area and a Greater London Authority (GLA) housing zone – an initiative that identifies London neighbourhoods where extra funding is provided to accelerate the building of homes. The Webbs industrial estate is a 1.67-ha site currently owned by the Education Funding Agency, but the GLA is actively looking to acquire it as part of the housing zone, and procure a developer through the London Development Panel. The site is located in an area earmarked for mixed-use schemes and a residential-led community, centered around an emerging creative quarter. Delivery of new homes in the area is vital, according to the council – more than 1,000 are planned – but it is looking to retain some of the area’s commercial character through a range of light industrial uses. Outline planning consent was granted in 2011 for a mixed-use development of the site, which included 235 homes, as well as retail and business units. The consented scheme, however, was not implemented.


The site is located near Blackhorse Road station, which provides overground and underground transport links.

Sitematch London is an event enabling public sector landowners to engage with private sector developers, investors and occupiers.

For more information, contact Will Teasdale, head of strategic regeneration at the council: or Michael Atkins at the GLA:, 020 7983 5737.

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Above, sites such as the Webbs industrial estate could be used to boost the borough's creative quarter.

12,000 HOMES BY 2020

Residents start to move into £70m flagship Walthamstow development The first families have, this Spring, moved into Circle Housing’s £70m flagship development in Walthamstow. Located on Billet Road, Banbury Park has 350 homes, split between shared ownership, private sale and affordable rent. The new development replaces disused warehouses, industrial works and an electronics factory. Over 2,400 square feet of retail and commercial space will also be created to house a major new retail unit, as well as smaller shops, boutique stores and business premises. It will also have landscaped community spaces, shops, offices, and a public square that will help to continue the regeneration of the area. Tim Seward, Head of Property Sales, said: “E17 - or ‘Awesomestow’, as it has been dubbed - is reaping the benefits from significant investment and is rapidly becoming one of the most exciting and sought-after places to live.

“Our new homes present a great opportunity to be part of this well connected and stylish community. Banbury Park also represents good value for money in comparison to other parts of the capital.” Banbury Park also boasts excellent transport links into central London - there are numerous bus connections from Billet Road to Walthamstow and Blackhorse Road tube station. The development is also situated beside the north circular and a 10 minute drive from the M11.

Councillor Khevyn Limbajee, Cabinet Member for Housing at Waltham Forest Council, said, “We have been working hard with developers to ensure more homes are built in the borough, working to a target of 12,000 new homes in Waltham Forest by 2020, with half of them being affordable. This development is the latest step on that journey and will help us achieve our ultimate goal of creating well-designed friendly neighbourhoods made up of decent quality, attractive and affordable homes. We’re determined to see housing contribute to the regeneration of entire areas and meet the needs of prosperous happy families who take pride in where they live.”



Pumphouse Museum transformed into affordable homes Circle Housing Circle 33

redeveloped part of the Pumphouse Transport Museum on South Access Road that was previously used for the storage of old vehicles. The site has now been transformed into 21 flats and family houses for shared ownership and affordable rent.

was great to visit this impressive new development and meet some of the new residents. We’re working really hard with Housing Associations like Circle to see new homes built in the borough and to ensure there are good affordable quotas to meet the needs of all residents.”

The location is also good, as it’s a nice quiet part of Walthamstow and we are close to a park, which is going to be great for my two children.”

The homes were built using a modern brick and steel construction to complement the existing museum, while every home has access to either a private balcony or garden.

The Creative Choice


Councillor Khevyn Limbajee, Cabinet Member for Housing at Waltham Forest Council toured William Marshall Close and met with residents who had recently moved in to their new homes.

Diana Mensah, 49, and her two children were previously living in

Prospective buyers can call Centra Living, part of Circle Housing on 0845 223 0000 or

a one bedroom flat before moving into a two bedroom flat at the new £4m development. She said: “It is early days but definitely it feels like we could have a nice little community going. It’s a lovely development and having the extra space is obviously really important to us.

Councillor Khevyn Limbajee, Cabinet Member for Housing at Waltham Forest Council said: “It

Waltham Forest | east London

Creative scene: cultural community collaborates

Issue 2 | Encouraging investment in Waltham Forest



Issue 2 | Encouraging investment in Waltham Forest

Hadley Property Group is one of London’s fastest-growing residential developers, and are specialists in the delivery of high-quality, design-led schemes. The company’s pipeline will bring more than 2200 homes to the market across

London and the south-east and has a combined GDV of £1.4bn. HPG is currently helping London to meet its housing targets in association with the following local authorities:

Natural movement: urban wetlands attraction


Olympic legacy: shaping the stars of tomorrow

Invest Waltham Forest #2  

Invest Waltham Forest is a new business publication which looks at regeneration and business news in the London Borough of Waltham Forest.