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Waltham Forest Encouraging investment in Waltham Forest

Festivals, film, focused design

Evening economy, established enterprise

Private/public: pulling forces



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Editor-in-chief James Wood News and digital editor Natalie Vincent Production manager Chris Hazeldine Editorial assistants Tilly Shenstone, Mia Wicks Art direction Smallfury Designs Senior business development manager Shelley Cook Business development director Paul Gussar Office and projects manager Sue Mapara Subscriptions manager Simon Maxwell Managing director Toby Fox

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Sunley House Bedford Park Croydon CR0 2AP 020 7978 6840 Waltham Forest Council Waltham Forest Town Hall 701 Forest Road, E17 4JF Subscriptions and feedback © 3Fox International Limited 2018. All material is ­strictly copyright and all rights are reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without the written p ­ ermission of 3Fox International Limited is strictly ­forbidden. The greatest care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of information in this magazine at 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.



7 News

33 Interviews

Nature reserves, cultural hubs and quality housing: the latest on regeneration in Waltham Forest.

Waltham Forest’s recently appointed council leader and U+I’s deputy development chief outline their priorities for the borough.

Culture-led regeneration Waltham Forest is prioritising culture in different ways:

15 Entertainment venues Iconic cinemas and music venues restored to their former glory.

20 Night-time economy A boosted night-time economy spurred by the night tube and new places to visit in the evening.

24 Festivals and events Summer festivals and other entertainment in Waltham Forest.

26 Design in focus Investigating the borough’s architectural landscape, with its award-winning developments.

39 Housing As ever, housing is a hot topic: could Waltham Forest help find the answer to London’s problems?

45 Map and projects We outline the progress on key development schemes.

52 New ways to work Collaboration is key, as new facilities for self-employed people, manufacturers and gardeners open.

56 Retail and innovation New businesses are being boosted – bespoke bikes is one example.

58 Sitematch Opportunity sites at Lea Bridge.


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Cover Image God’s Own Junkyard, photo by Jo Amelia Finlay Bever (CC BY 2.0) Images: Dirk Lindner, Christian Bertrand, Baz Seal, Agnese Sanvito, MIKESCOTTINDY, Hidden London, TfL, ourgaze, Helen Maurer, intereverything, Carol Barber, Florrie Coster, Vestry House Museum, London Borough of Waltham Forest, Gar Powell-Evans, Penny Dampier, GLL/Better, Simon Taylor, Swan Architects, Sara Lynd Photography, Ewan Munro, Pollard Tomas Edwards, Matt Brown, Carmel King Photo


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7 News

Europe’s biggest urban wetlands opens in Walthamstow More than 5,000 visitors attended the opening of Walthamstow Wetlands during the weekend of 20-22 October 2017. Europe’s largest urban wetland nature reserve was made accessible to the public for the first time in 150 years, with visitors enjoying a range of activities such as cycling, angling, volunteering and birdwatching over the weekend, in bright and breezy conditions. The wetlands are free to visit and were funded by £10.6 million from Waltham Forest Council, Thames Water and the Heritage Lottery Fund. The redevelopement of the 211-ha site was created from the pre-existing Walthamstow Reservoirs, which supplies around 3.5 million people with water.

It has now been named as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), due to the large number of wading and nesting birds that flock to it each year. Veronica Chrisp, director of Walthamstow Wetlands was pleased with the public reaction to the opening. She said: “We were overwhelmed by the interest that Walthamstow Wetlands generated on our opening weekend. “In the first week alone, more than 5,000 people from the borough and beyond walked, jogged, cycled, puddle-jumped, birdwatched, fished and ultimately, thoroughly enjoyed their way around our wonderful and accessible site.” Two listed buildings, the Marine Engine House and Coppermill Tower

have both had extensive renovation works as part of the programme. A new cafe and visitor centre is located in the Engine House, which was first constructed in 1894, and was originally named the Ferry Lane Pumping Station. Featuring an educational space, it will host school trips, as well as childrens’ activities such as painting and crafts. A new 24-metre high swift tower was added to the building containing 54 specially installed nest boxes to attract urban swifts. The interior also includes a snug roost for bats. Chrisp added: “The Engine House has been a real hub with visitors enjoying a range of fun and educational activities and browsing and relaxing in our shop and cafe.”

change of hands

8 News

Developer Telford Homes will bring 340 homes to Walthamstow, following its purchase of the 1.28-ha Equipment Works scheme on Forest Road from developer U+I and Parkdale Investments. The exchange of contracts was agreed in December 2017 for £33.9 million. Detailed planning permission for 257 open market homes, 80 homes planned as affordable and 1,749sq m of commercial space is in place and Telford Homes is also exploring options for build-to-rent homes. Jon Di-Stefano, Telford Homes’ chief executive, said: “This acquisition not only adds to our substantial development pipeline, but should further enhance our reputation as a significant developer of build-to-rent housing in London.” Work is expected to begin in autumn 2018 with completion set for late 2021.

TfL teams-up for housing scheme Transport for London (TfL) has named housing developer BLLQ, a consortium formed of Barratt London and London & Quadrant as a partner for its first housing development project in the Blackhorse Road area of Waltham Forest. The housing plan for the 0.72-ha site will see 350 new homes built opposite Blackhorse Road tube station, with approximately half earmarked as affordable housing. It is expected to be completed by 2022. Graeme Craig, director of commercial development for TfL said: “We are thrilled to be working with BLLQ to deliver hundreds of homes for Londoners with excellent transport links and just a short journey from central London.”

Creative hub scoops Mayor’s Prize Waltham Forest’s Central Parade has won the 2017 New London Architecture Mayor’s Prize. The building dates from the 1960s and was refurbished last year by Gort Scott Architects. It now provides up to 50 creative businesses with studios and coworking spaces, as well as a cafe, bakery and events space. Councillor Simon Miller, cabinet member for economic growth and high streets at Waltham Forest Council, said: “We are thrilled that

the transformation of Central Parade has been recognised in this way. We were up against many worthwhile projects from all over Greater London, Central Parade won as it best reflected the mayor’s ambition for good growth”. The building was also recommended in the ‘Meanwhile’ category, which highlights projects that “embrace the city as a work in progress, while supporting “longterm ambitions”, as the rest of the building is refurbished.

Waltham Forest gets first 100% housing scheme in London

be the first time a London borough will be recognised for its cultural impact and importance, with a prize of £1 million awarded to the winning authority to be spent on local culture events and initiatives. Waltham Forest's bid was launched by the artists Bob and Roberta Smith at the Walthamstow Garden Party in Lloyd Park on 1 July 2017, which was attended by about 30,000 people. The borough launched its "150 Cultural Gems of Waltham Forest" initiative in the run-up to the 1 December deadline for London councils to submit their bid. Up to 150 events, highlights and local landmarks have been promoted for consideration by the Mayor of London’s office. The competition is now closed and the mayor of London will announce the London Boroughs of Culture for 2019 and 2020 in February 2018.


Key figures from the arts and entertainment world have backed Waltham Forest’s bid for the London Borough of Culture 2019 award. Blur's Damon Albarn, author and journalist Dreda Say Mitchell, photographer David Bailey CBE and ballet master Sir Matthew Bourne have all lent their support for the borough’s submission in a joint letter signed by 50 artists. Bailey said: "Waltham Forest is an example of London at its cultural best, as a vibrant and growing hub for artists, performers and creative start-ups. Not only would winning the title of London's first Borough of Culture bring valuable investment here, it would also provide the muchdeserved recognition and support for Waltham Forest's artistic and entrepreneurial communities." Following a similar model to the UK City of Culture awards, this will


Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced a 100% affordable housing scheme for first-time buyers in Waltham Forest, which he said will be the first of its kind for London. Webbs Industrial Estate on Sutherland Road was purchased last November by City Hall as part of its £3.15 billion Affordable Homes programme. The site, which previously housed a lightbulb factory, had not been used for 13 years. With 330 homes due to be built, Khan wants homes to be available for shared ownership. He said: “I’m doing all I can to help fix London’s housing crisis, but it will take time to turn things around. I’ve been honest from the start – this is going to be a marathon, not a sprint. But we’re already taking big steps forward – my new planning rules will help raise affordable housing levels in new developments, and my £3.15 billion funding deal with the government will help to build an extra 90,000 genuinely affordable homes to rent and buy.” The development will also include a creative hub, providing more than 3,000sq m of affordable workspace and artist studios, a park and retail space. Catalyst will be working with Swan Housing Association and C.F. Møller Architects. Councillor Clare Coghill, leader of Waltham Forest Council, said: “We are really pleased that the first site of 100% affordable London housing will be found in Waltham Forest, regenerating an old disused factory.”

Stars back Waltham Forest’s culture prize bid

council launches investment portfolio Waltham Forest Council has purchased its first property as a first step towards building its own investment portfolio. Progressing its plan to become a “self-funded council”, the purchase of the Tramworks site located next to the Former EMD Cinema is expected to attract more new business to what is being called the Hoe Street “creative corridor”. The Tramworks is a mixed-use converted former warehouse, comprising 2,010sq m of studio space, an open plan office, a

restaurant and residential homes. It already houses a number of businesses including a recording studio, film companies, graphics and animation companies, yoga studios, branding consultants and publishers. Councillor Simon Miller, cabinet member for economic growth and high streets, said: “This purchase is the first step in growing our portfolio of investments to help build a sustainable future. The Tramworks is an excellent start and fits our ambitions to grow the local economy and create thriving town centres.”

10 News

music venue to stage comeback Planning permission has been granted for a new basement music venue to open on the site of the old Standard performance space on Blackhorse Lane. The redevelopment will also feature 50 flats, a supermarket and a bar. The Standard was famous for hosting music artists Suzi Quatro and Kula Shaker and comedians such as Alan Davies, Harry Enfield and Jack Dee. A dedicated performance venue since 1986, it was purchased in

2011 by Turkish Food Centre, which worked with the council’s regeneration team to ensure its continuation as a music space. Councillor Simon Miller, lead member for economic growth and high streets, said: “The council’s vision for this Blackhorse Lane development is to build new homes, provide new shops, and create a welcoming environment for musicians and performers where they can perfect their craft.” Read more about The Standard’s new lease of life on page 16.

Future optimistic for young buyers Research carried out in the London Borough of Waltham Forest has found that young people have positive expectations about owning property in the future, despite well-documented news that home-ownership is becoming an increasingly distant prospect. This is according to research findings announced at the Waltham Forest Housing Summit on 6 September 2017, carried out by community consultants Kaizen and Social Life, and Waltham Forest Young Advisers, on the expectations and concerns of young people in the borough when it comes to housing. Conclusions drawn from the interviews were that although young people felt current housing is expensive and hard to access in Waltham Forest, they still had high expectations about owning their own homes in the future; with around four in 10 young people expecting to have family support to help buy a home, which is lower than the national average. Around 300 attendees at the summit listened to the findings, including key housing policy makers and a range of councils and industry figures. Conducted through street interviews, a cross section of people were interviewed. Of those spoken to, 13% were under 18, 49% were aged 18 to 24 and 32% were 25 to 35 years old. Councillor Khevyn Limbajee, cabinet member for housing, spoke about the local authority’s housing plans: “As a council, it is one of our key priorities to provide more affordable and accessible housing for residents – especially young people. “Many still have the aspiration of owning their own home but are unable to afford it. “This means we need to make sure we have the right housing options and support for them, be it private or social, so they can get on the housing ladder.”

are committed to investing in the future of Walthamstow, one of the most vibrant and emerging retail markets in London.

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We are Clarion Housing Group Clarion Housing Group includes the largest housing association in the country, with more than 125,000 homes including 48,000 in London. The Group also includes a charitable foundation – Clarion Futures, and is one of the country’s leading developers. We are playing a key role in helping fix the broken housing market and over ten years aim to build 50,000 new homes, investing some £15 billion on meeting and delivering on this target. We will use our experience, scale and financial strength to complete these new homes and communities. We have a strong track record of working in partnership with both the private and public sector including the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

Below is a snapshot of recent schemes in the borough:

Windmill Court, Chingford This award winning extra care scheme, developed in partnership with Waltham Forest Council, provides a mix of 44 one and two bedroom apartments that bring together both design and services for older residents.

Beaconsfield Road, Walthamstow A £3.8 million development to provide 30 homes for affordable rent or shared ownership. The scheme, which replaces the former Francis House care home, has a mix of smaller apartments and two storey family homes.

Headway Gardens, Walthamstow This award winning self-build scheme created ten new homes on a former garage site owned by the Council and provided its residents with a wide range of new skills. The scheme benefited from additional funding from the Greater London Authority.

Banbury Park, Walthamstow Currently in its final phase, on completion Banbury Park will provide 350 mixed tenure new apartments and houses set in landscaped grounds, along with commercial units. The scheme replaces disused warehouses, industrial works and an electronics factory, contributing to the regeneration of this part of Walthamstow.

Clarion Housing Group has extensive experience of developing new homes and communities, major regeneration projects and implementing innovative approaches to secure successful delivery. If you would like to speak to us about potential land opportunities, please contact:

Richard White Director of Land & Planning Or for joint ventures, package deals and S106s, please contact:

Philip Browne Director of New Business & Partnerships

Building homes. Developing futures.

Culture-led regeneration

Left: The EMD Cinema, where The Beatles and The Rolling Stones once played, reopened its doors in 2016.

Golden ticket Culture-led regeneration is a priority in the London Borough of Waltham Forest and part of this is once popular entertainment venues being restored and given new leases of life. Carly Cassano takes a look at how these projects are progressing

Central Parade in Walthamstow won the 2017 New London Architecture Mayor’s Prize for Good Growth. The

area was transformed into retail and co-working spaces for local creative businesses and the council says it understands creativity needs space to spread its wings. Miller adds: “We are determined to keep, grow and support young independent businesses, the creative sector and arts organisations in the borough.” Young people in Waltham Forest are trying to connect with their neighbours in new ways. Having the space to do that can be the key to their success. CentrE17, a Community Interest Company (CICs recycle their profit), was a performance group without a permanent home until it moved into Ross Wyld Hall near Central Parade. The 150-seat venue (originally a community hall named for Frederick Ross Wyld, once Walthamstow’s councillor, mayor, trade unionist and equal rights advocate) opened in June 2017, with a mission to “create a community of artists, dancers, theatre practitioners, actors and sculptors”.

Entertainment venues

Councillor Simon Miller, cabinet member for economic growth and high streets, says: “With restorations and regeneration in general, Waltham Forest Council is committed to respecting our foundations, while simultaneously enhancing them. What was once a favourite pub will also be utilised as a venue for comedy and music. What was once a barebones community space will be expended, encouraging civic engagement through the arts.”



ike a pheonix, some venues rise again. They ruffle their age old wisdom through shiny new feathers to become something bold. The idea behind reopening evening venues in Waltham Forest is to peel back the layers of dust and ashes to reveal the William Morris wallpaper (or some such valuable quirk) and then add comfy seats and a solid platform for new voices.

Entrance to performances is frequently paid by donation proceeds and these are sent directly to local charities such as the Eat or Heat food bank. In The Bakers Arms, the Hornbeam Café hosts evening vegan pop-up events (making gourmet vegan food at an affordable price), supper clubs and herbal remedy workshops. Charlie Boyd, Hornbeam’s head of events, says: “We empower aspiring chefs and budding musicians to engage within our diverse community, support entrepreneurs and workshop facilitators, and educate the community on important social and environmental issues.”

16 Entertianment venues

For instance, Boyd explains, they work with local social enterprises such as OrganicLea, a worker’s co-op growing food for residents and venues and HEET, an environmental and fuel poverty-awareness organisation, as a way to bring residents together to share their vision for a healthier borough. Daring projects take flight when people discover they have common interests and a safe space to express themselves. This philosophy of inclusivity and community outreach is being applied to evening venues in Waltham Forest. Grassroots successes play a part in the council’s long-term vision: regeneration is as much about wellbeing, educational and arts programmes, as well as independent bakeries and cafes, shops, music

venues and mixed-use residential buildings, as it is large-scale, student housing, supermarkets and office spaces. This is why Waltham Forest’s vision includes the promise of its very own phoenix, The Standard – a well-loved music and comedy club during its heyday, from 1986 through to the late 90s. During those years, then up-andcoming artists like American singer Suzi Quatro, British rockers Kula Shaker and comedians Alan Davies and Harry Enfield performed there. Quatro tells Invest Waltham Forest: “I played this venue whenever I was going on a tour as a warm-up gig. It was a shame when it closed.” This was in 2011, when it was bought by the TFC supermarket chain. London had lost a venue known for taking a chance on pioneering artists. For years, the council’s regeneration team worked with the owners to ensure the building is not only used for a supermarket and flats, but, as Miller says, as “a performance space where the stars of tomorrow will get their chance to shine”. The venue is across the street from the Victoria line at Blackhorse Road Station, which now runs for 24 hours at weekends (see page 20). Permission has been granted to rebuild The Standard music venue in the basement of the building, with plans for work to take place over the next few years, installing proper

Far left: Vintage furniture at Mirth, Marvel and Maud. Left: Suzi Quatro once played at The Standard in Walthamstow.

Like many Antic venues in London, Mirth, Marvel and Maud was inspired by its surroundings. The EMD Cinema is a Grade II Art Deco beauty, evocative of industrial glamour and the hard angles of modern city life. Following Antic’s usual practice of refurbishing venues with vintage furniture and decor, Mirth, Marvel and Maud has a very cool, luxurious vibe. Painstaking efforts to preserve the original interiors were made, and

Plans to reopen the historic auditorium are under way. Within around five years, the EMD Cinema will host an audience of 1,000, bringing back large acts onto its performance calendar, harking back to the days when The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and John Coltrane played the stage. Miller says: “We want to make the most of our cultural assets and expand our good quality evening economy, so that existing buildings such as EMD Cinema can be converted into a venue for theatre, comedy and music. A once threadbare community hall in Central Parade [Ross Wyld Hall] has been converted into a thriving community theatre, encouraging youth engagement and well-being through the performing arts”. In the meantime, the Mirth, Marvel and Maud pop-up draws a diverse crowd; locals of every age and a smattering of Londoners looking

Above: Mirth, Marvel and Maud prides itself on its cocktails.

Entertainment venues

Another exciting reopening is the EMD Cinema, formerly the Granada Cinema, which was an entertainment venue for 99 years before it became a dedicated movie theatre in 1896. EMD is managed by Antic, which has already transformed the entrance into Mirth, Marvel and Maud, an elegant film screening room, performance space, cocktail bar and restaurant.

even the layout hasn’t changed much. As Antic puts it, “expect a concert, theatre show or club night in an old cinema (but without the seats)”.


soundproofing and construction for the sake of Walthamstow residents. Currently, the Victorian-era brick building (which was always a pub of some kind) is vacant, but the exterior is painted bright candy coloured stripes, reminiscent of a bird of paradise ready to meet its mate.

Clockwise: Performers at the Hornbeam Café; architectural plans for the Regal cinema; the entrance of Mirth, Marvel and Maud.

18 Entertianment venues

+ This area has a strong sense of community and creative entrepreneurship, and it loves film + for a modernised version of their grandma’s house. The restaurant features distinctive pub food and the venue’s live music, spoken word, burlesque and comedy events all feel quite special too – inspirational and grounding in equal parts. Film fans are also enjoying life in the borough. In addition to The Scene in Walthamstow – a 1,200-seat Empire cinema showing box office movies which opened in 2014 – there are plans to reopen the Regal Cinema in Higham Hill, which hasn’t screened a film in 50 years. The Regal will draw students and cinephiles interested in avant-garde. Miller says: “We want to bring an independent boutique cinema back to Higham Hill and we are determined

to reopen the iconic cinema. It will be a terrific boost for this area, which has a strong sense of community and entrepreneurship. And it loves film.” Creativity comes to life in many ways: from the ashes of old buildings; from whispering echos of former selves; from grassroots community organising; from the burning desire of people to express themselves and help each other out. There are always challenges to overcome to bring about culture, but through its communities and commitment to become the recipient of the London mayor’s culture prize (see page 24), new places to enjoy music and film and the restoration of iconic venues are bringing a buzz back to this east London borough.





w w w. t e l f or d ho m e s . lo n d o n

Culture-led regeneration

20 Night-time economy

Here comes the night-time

With the benefits of improved transport connections by night and a wealth of restaurants and bars opening, the night-time economy in Waltham Forest is booming. Russell Hargrave reports


he night tube has been up and running for 18 months, transporting thousands of people in and out of Waltham Forest each weekend. And as the number of visitors has grown, the night-time economy has been boosted in this corner of the capital. “London is a great place for a night out, thanks to the brilliant bars, theatres, restaurants and venues dotted around every corner of the city,” says Amy Lamé, appointed as London’s first night czar by mayor Sadiq Khan in November 2016.

“I was delighted to visit Waltham Forest on one of my ‘night surgeries’ this year. It was good to hear from locals, business owners and the council about their hopes for the future of the area’s nightlife.” The night tube has boosted London’s economy by £171 million, Lamé says: “This is making a real difference in places like Walthamstow. With some amazing venues such as God’s Own Junkyard, Mother’s Ruin and The Wild Card Brewery already based in the area, there are fantastic opportunities ahead.”

Wild Card is one of a number of microbreweries operating in the borough, as reported in the last issue of Invest Waltham Forest. Such was the success of its first bar in Walthamstow, the business grew to a point of operating at full capacity and sought to expand its production and bar facilities to meet demand. The brewery launched a crowdfunding campaign, with great success, going beyond the £250,000 target within a week, and a second production site was opened on Lockwood Way in Blackhorse Road. The Ravenswood site will be refurbished and used to launch Wild Card’s barrel-aged beer programme. Sitting in the shadow of the nine-feet tall steel vats in which Wild Card’s ale is brewed, William Harris, one of its directors, explains that his business has always depended on local interest in good beer and a strong community.

Clockwise: Wild Card brewery, Sodo Pizza, CentrE17 theatre and the Red Lion pub.

The boom in late-night trade doesn’t just mean pubs and clubs, either. Peter Hawking-Sach, an expert on night-time economies, is currently completing his PhD at University College London, and explains that Waltham Forest “is dedicated to creating an evening and night-time strategy, so that they are not just looking at late-night entertainment but how to bridge the gap between people finishing work and the revellers who stay out late at night.” This has allowed venues such as CentrE17, a theatre next to Walthamstow Central, to establish itself as part of the borough’s cultural and economic life. “We are often the first stop in the evening out,” says Max Peters, who runs CentrE17.

Night-time economy

“Considering the amount of people and the size of the high street and the general economic activity in the borough, there was a very small nightlife scene when we opened [in 2012],” adds Harris. “But there is no doubt that this is getting stronger and better all the time.”

And the opportunities offered by the night tube? “We are already on it,” he explains, highlighting a ‘Victoria line party’ which took place in October 2017, bringing together the borough’s artists with their counterparts at the other end of the tube line in Brixton.


Local backing has been crucial, explains Harris: “We wouldn’t have achieved anything without local people supporting us. Without them, it wouldn’t have happened. They have driven the business forward.

“We get beer tourists,” Harries smiles, recounting his customer base – “people from other countries coming to see what the beer is like.”

Left: Night czar Amy Lamé on a visit to God’s Own Junkyard.

+ [Waltham Forest]’s night-time economy and culture will continue to go from strength to strength + 22

“One of our productions comes on at 7pm and finishes at 9.30pm or 10 o’clock.

Night-time economy

“That then means people are excited and want to talk about what they have seen, and then they move onto the new restaurant and the new bar, which is open later.” Or as Ben Shelbourne, who runs Sodo Pizza just down the road from the theatre, puts it: “Next door to me I’ve got a cocktail bar, next door to them they’ve got a Caribbean place on the corner, next door to them they have a cinema, next to that they have a Nando’s. The steady stream of small restaurants and cocktail bars lend themselves very well to each other.” “It’s not necessarily competition, they are our collective customers,” explains James Chitty, general manager of the Red Lion pub in Leytonstone, describing how small businesses have co-operated to develop restaurants and pubs in the area. New businesses “get plugged in quite quickly,” agrees Joanna Sealy, founder of the Waltham Forest Business Network, who advises local companies on marketing and scaling-up. “We are quite connected.”

Leyton’s nightlife has also received a boost with new pubs and bars such as Leyton Technical in the old Leyton Town Hall building. Hawking-Sach is interested in the development of the Lea Bridge Road area too, which will host a new station and more homes in the near future. The area is “quite an important node for east London,” he says. “You’ve got Clapton on one side and up to the Baker’s Arms on the other; you’ve got the reservoir and marshes there, you’ve got the Olympic Park to the south. So there is lots of potential, in terms of making sure it is better served and has better facilities.” The number of businesses in the borough grew by 12% in 2016, according to the council’s latest figures, bringing the total number to 11,000. And with proposals for more homes, a night-time economy is needed to meet the demands of new residents. In the meantime, Lamé looks forward to visiting Waltham Forest again soon, confident that “its night-time economy will continue to go from strength-to-strength”. When she does call by, she will no doubt find the night-life is buzzing.

WITH A STRONG REGIONAL FOOTHOLD AND NATIONAL CAPABILITIES, WE’RE READY WHEN, AND WHEREVER, YOU ARE. Benefiting from Glenny’s in-depth and unrivalled knowledge of the North East London property market, our clients operating in Waltham Forest can expect an exceptional service, whatever their requirements are. Our full range of services are accessible through our central support hub in Stratford and strategicallylocated regional offices.




Culture-led regeneration

Prize fighters As Waltham Forest bids to become London’s first Borough of Culture, Erika Sagner finds the borough’s programme of events and creative prowess putting it ahead of the pack

24 Festivals and events Above: Dancers from Khyal Arts group entertain people at Walthamstow Garden Party, 2017.


altham Forest is a strong contender to become the first “London Borough of Culture”.

In February 2018, two London boroughs will be awarded the status – one for 2019 and another for 2020. Launched by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan in June 2017, the scheme was inspired by the UK City and European Capital of Culture initiatives. The winner will receive £1 million of arts funding. This would allow Waltham Forest to build on its established cultural foundation. With its festivals and events attracting thousands of visitors every year and local arts scene continuing to flourish, Walthamstow in particular is demonstrating how art-inspired regeneration can be a success.

Walthamstow diary blogger, Bill Foster, has lived in the area for more than 20 years and supports the bid. The borough’s strengths lie in “lots of new businesses, a strong community and venues that welcome open theatre,” says Foster. “Events such as the Walthamstow Garden Party are fantastic for bringing people together too,” he adds. Walthamstow Garden Party in Lloyd Park is a free two-day festival founded in 2014 and programmed by the Barbican and Create London, which promotes art events and organisations: the event attracted almost 35,000 people in 2017. Director of arts at The Barbican, Louise Jeffreys, says: “The festival is central to the work The Barbican does across east London. It’s a truly special

occasion and we are passionate about ensuring the festival is a catalyst for new ideas, ambitious thinking and innovative collaborations.” In 2017, some of the biggest name acts in the festival’s history performed, with bands including Tinariwen, from the Sahara, and reggae icons Toots and The Maytals on the bill. Create producer, Rachel Lincoln, has been involved since the first Garden Party in the summer of 2014. She says: “It really is a fantastic event, which shows the community has a grass-roots culture.” Both organisations support Waltham Forest’s Borough of Culture bid, which Lincoln believes would be “well-deserved”. She says: “I have seen local partners work together consistently in the borough and it is lovely to see this develop. Winning the bid would give these groups greater exposure.”

Artists with Waltham Forest connections, including musician Damon Albarn, photographer David Bailey and artist Zarah Hussain, also support the borough’s bid, while the Walthamstow legacy of William Morris continues to inspire.

Foster says winning £1 million for arts funding would help support continued cultural success, but for it to be successful, it will depend on the willingness of people to get involved. Ultimately, this participation will benefit residents, says head of culture and heritage services for Waltham Forest Council, Lorna Lee. “It would also boost the economy and allow local businesses to thrive,” she adds. The local authority’s bid promises to “create a radical manifesto for the capital’s cultural life, staging a worldclass programme.” Clearly, the borough prides itself on showing how art and culture can lie at the heart of a community. Ultimately, this is the driving force behind Waltham Forest’s bid as the council aims to show how its people are integral to culture-led regeneration.

Top: Toots and the Maytals at Lloyd’s Park, 2017. Middle: the E17 Arts Trail engages all ages. Bottom: locals turn out in force for the Garden Party.

Festivals and events

The gallery devoted to the famous artist and thinker is a hugely popular venue for cultural and educational events, while prints inspired by Morris’ love of nature were displayed in Lloyd Park this summer.


The E17 Arts Trail is another feather in the cap for the bid. Since 2005, local artists have exhibited and

promoted work in the borough, with the event now a significant cultural landmark. In 2017, it took place over a 16-day summer period, engaging more than 7,000 artists and residents. Open studios, schools and workshops incorporated the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and maths) theme to acknowledge the creative discipline these subjects offer.

26 Design in focus

Built to last

Waltham Forest is famed for its iconic buildings, renowned for high quality architecture – and the council has developed a charter to underline the importance of developing well-designed and maintained regeneration projects which sit in harmony with what already exists. Karen Jensen-Jones reports

Above: Waltham Forest Council’s vision for the town hall includes opening up the campus so it can be enjoyed by residents (see page 46).


t’s no coincidence that Waltham Forest has recently emerged from the shadows as a truly desirable place to live. Waltham Forest Council’s ambitious regeneration plans across the borough are making a significant difference to the area and the people who live there since the launch of its Design Charter in 2015. With its 10 key urban design principles, including people-friendly streets and developments integrating with their surroundings and local heritage, Lucy Shomali, director of regeneration and growth at Waltham Forest Council, explains the legacy of the charter two years on.

“The sheer quantum of development the council has seen in recent years, as across much of London, has been incredible,” she says. “The principles of the Design Charter are well established in the design world with the 10 key, concise points stressing to developers how strongly the council feels about good design and the effect it has on the community. “It’s really important to get it right in high-density developments such as those in Waltham Forest, as the impact on residents both during, and after the work, is huge. The challenge for us is embracing growth, but at the same time we aim to protect and

enhance the existing character of the borough through the quality of the architecture and the materials used and of course, vital transport connections. With the help of the charter and our policies and strong political commitment, we are moving in the right direction.” This commitment to maintaining and raising design standards in both buildings and spaces is inspired by a desire to improve people’s lives wherever they live in the borough. Affordable housing, desirable retail and restaurants, cinemas, galleries, open spaces, cycle lanes and effective transport and traffic flow are just some of the objectives. The borough is already home to a number of iconic architectural buildings, which have undergone extensive redevelopment to preserve the essence of their past.

Right: The William Morris Gallery is Grade II*-listed and attracts thousands every month since it reopened its doors in 2012.

The Grade II*-listed William Morris Gallery is another local gem with a strong heritage and history. Reopening in 2012, it offers transformed gallery spaces, new education facilities and an orangery-inspired extension overlooking the beautiful Lloyd Park. Awarded the prestigious title of Museum of the Year in 2013, the defining cultural landmark is a major attraction for both locals and tourists in what was once the childhood home of one of its most famous residents. Vestry House in Walthamstow Village, once housing the parish workhouse – and later a police station – is another iconic landmark brought back to life. It now boasts a collection of 80,000 historic photographs from across the borough. Both projects are enhancing and inspiring the lives of the local community and contribute significantly to improving perceptions of the area. Looking ahead to future regeneration, the campaign to redevelop Whipps Cross Hospital into a world-class

Design in focus

“It’s not so much about increasing the number of these homes but preserving and recognising their historic value,” explains Shomali. “These sought-after properties are popular because they’re flats or half houses and from the street

“With housing in such demand in London and the outer boroughs, it is clear to see how this style of housing works so well alongside 21st century challenges,” she adds.


Ensuring old and new developments sit comfortably side-by-side is seen as a crucial part of improving the environment. In close proximity to the town hall, good quality workers’ housing, built in the late 19th and early 20th century, makes up The Warner Estate, properties which are a lasting and distinctive part of Waltham Forest’s landscape.

they look like traditional Victorian houses. But they are cleverly designed, with the ground floor door and your neighbour’s door next to each other.

Right: The Scene continues to win architectural plaudits. Below: Vestry House Museum shows the council’s willingness to reuse its former buildings.

health and well-being campus is now firmly on the council’s agenda. Councillor Clare Coghill, leader of Waltham Forest Council, says: “Whipps Cross has a proud place in our history and has served our community exceptionally for a hundred years. We want it to continue to deliver excellent care well into the future and that is why we have launched our campaign.”


Alongside heritage regeneration projects are modern schemes projecting 21st century values.

Design in focus

Situated in the town centre, The Scene is testament to the success of the Design Charter, with the project winning many awards including the London Planning Award 2017, two Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors awards in 2016, Outstanding Contribution to the Regeneration of Walthamstow Town Centre at the Waltham Forest Design Awards, among others. Justin Laskin, associate partner at architect Pollard Thomas Edwards explains how his team, with Islington

and Shoreditch Housing Association and developer Hill Partnerships, faced the challenge of transforming the derelict 1960s office building at the top of the high street into a vibrant space that works on many levels. “Good design is not one particular thing and there’s not always a simple answer,” explains Laskin. “Every site will have its own unique challenges and good design is about understanding those challenges and recognising the opportunities, as well as the constraints. “At The Scene, we worked hard to find ways to maximise the opportunities we had, while consulting with all the interested stakeholders such as the market traders, retailers and residents. “It was – and always is – very important to us that everyone who is likely to be affected by the changes has the opportunity to express their opinion. I think consultation – however many times you need to listen – is just good practice.” The ambitious £24 million scheme for a nine-screen cinema, retail outlets and restaurants and 121 homes aimed at being affordable, all in the busy town centre location, would inevitably have an impact on those living and working in and around the area. “The improvements are good for everyone in the long-run, but we recognise that it’s quite a nuisance having disruptive building work on your doorstep and it’s important to be mindful of that,” stresses Laskin.

“The mixture of uses in a busy town centre location was the biggest obstacle we faced. The solution we came up with was to build the cinema underground, away from the main frontage and to locate restaurants and shops on the ground floor to activate the streets. “Residential apartments and houses were placed above the retail with noise and access issues being a priority for us to consider – both during and after the build. Everything was planned and discussed with the community, who were kept informed of progress and this has added to the success of the scheme, because the community have always felt included. “The Scene hasn’t been singlehandedly responsible for the regeneration of the area, but it has certainly accelerated it, with the upgrade of the high street, the quality of the shared public space and the easing of what was once a really busy and congested road.”

“Opening up the long shop windows which were previously obscured, strong graphics on the interior, and window seating, animates the high street in an important town centre location. The project has given a lovely old building a new life.” The existing building, which has distinctive tiling and a corner clock tower, was originally designed and delivered in 1958 by Waltham Forest’s borough architect and has since been listed by Heritage England. Says Scott: “It’s interesting that a year since the project opened, the building has recently been listed, having previously been considered a potential development site. This cements Central Parade as a positive asset to the town centre.” The significant mixed-use development around Blackhorse Lane has proved to be a successful example of how well-designed and considered development can bring benefits.

Design in focus

Director Fiona Scott says: “Central Parade has been embraced by local

“The design is intended to be flexible to accommodate different users, while having its own character, and we think this has been successful.


A founding principle of making a positive, imaginative and considered contribution to the built environment has been architect Gort Scott’s mantra throughout its refurbishment of the prominent and award-winning Central Parade.

people and the users of the town centre. The bakery is thriving, the cafe is always busy and the shops and incubator spaces support independent small businesses.

Below: Central Parade offers thoughtfully designed incubator and studio space for nascent creative businesses.

Teasdale says: “The parade of shops has really come to life now that they have regular customers and can see future potential. An old TV repair shop has recently changed use and converted to a restaurant – there’s a buzz in the air and that’s attractive. Looking to the future, there are plans for a music venue (see page 15), a pub and more cafes and it is hoped this will encourage commuters to come home and socialise within their community. Steady progress also includes improved road junctions and cycle lanes, as well as public art projects aimed at brightening up the area.

Above and right: Central Parade has become a buzzing Walthamstow destination, featuring a cafe and bakery.

30 Design in focus

Rigorous design reviews have been put in place by the council for mixeduse schemes. This attention to detail, coupled with the close proximity of the Walthamstow Wetlands, has seen an increase in young professionals moving to the area. Will Teasdale, the council’s head of strategic development, notes the knock-on effect this has had.

Also benefiting are Lea Bridge and Wood Street, as Shomali explains: “There are many new developments coming forward and we are identifying sites that are currently mixed-use or industrial which we can make better use of, while retaining the businesses that are already there. Picking up on the reopening of Lea Bridge, which was closed for many years, Shomali says “it has proved to be a catalyst for regeneration in the area”. Consent was granted for residential development which is currently under construction.

“The shopping parade and restaurants, which were struggling, are now busy, as more people move to the location and socialise there,” he says.

She adds: “Wood Street is another growth area, where good overground transport connections have made a difference along with the wellestablished shopping centre.”

“The area was very run-down and environmentally poor and the suggestion of improvement had been talked about for many years.

“Accessibility is really important and key to encouraging people to live in the area and this inevitably leads to further investment and growth.”

“Now it’s happened and the change has been initiated, it’s getting easier to encourage people to want to live there because they can see the benefits for themselves,” Teasdale concludes.

Two years on from the implementation of the Waltham Forest Council Design Charter, it is clear developers are taking note, creating well-designed development projects, positively regenerating the area and improving the quality of people’s lives.

Housing appealing to students and those in their 20s and 30s is beginning to transform the way these demographics perceive an area they may well have once overlooked.

It is proving to be a great and ongoing success.


C O N TI N U I N G T O SUP P ORT A ND W O R K I N W A LT H A M F OREST WW W.GS8.LOND ON 0 2 0 74 4 3 5053



Natasha Pullan – head of events Lottie Gregory – event manager

Hemini Mistry – events assistant

020 7978 6840


Equal visions


Waltham Forest’s council leader Clare Coghill discusses her first months in the leadership role and the importance of housing, while Richard Upton, deputy chief executive of U+I, a developer known for its cultural-led developments, draws on how the private sector can prioritise local needs. With questions from Noella Pio Kivlehan CLARE COGHILL, LEADER, WALTHAM FOREST COUNCIL What have the first months in the leadership role been like? Since officially becoming council leader in May 2017, the experience has been amazing, particularly as the borough is in a great place. But we face lots of challenges. One is ensuring we have sufficient affordable – and social – housing in the borough. I’ve been delighted that in my first six months, Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, announced that Catalyst and Swan will be developing a site on the former Webbs Industrial Estate,

Above: The former Webbs Industrial Estate will become home to London’s “first fully affordable” housing scheme. Left: Councillor Clare Coghill is the first female to be elected as Waltham Forest’s council leader.

where the 330 homes will be all genuinely affordable. There are statistics that show we are one of highest performing boroughs in London when it comes to affordability. But we don’t want to rest on our laurels – we have to continue to fight for affordable housing and for more social housing. It’s important that people aren’t priced out of their homes and communities. Residents having a decent roof over their heads is one of the key priorities of my leadership. Whether it’s affordable, social, or rented accommodation, we want to do everything we can to make sure residents are safe, that their families are safe and they can enjoy a good quality of life.

34 Interviews Below: Walthamstow Wetlands opened to much fanfare in October 2017 and features more than 200ha of open space.

A key standout moment so far in my leadership was the opening of Walthamstow Wetlands (see page 7) in October. At over 500 acres [more than 200ha] of stunning green space, it is a phenomenal achievement. We’ve had thousands of visitors already and the response of residents has been incredible: having large areas of green open space for them to enjoy is one of the ways we can make sure new housing developments are positively received by local people who don’t want to feel crowded out. What are your objectives? For housing, the landlord licensing scheme has been hugely successful and phenomenally important. It’s

about pushing up standards for our residents. For those living in substandard accommodation, we are obliging landlords to make sure repairs are done. Over the next six months, we want to make sure we are pushing hard, alongside the mayor, for really good quality affordable and social housing, and we are asking central government for support around school places and healthcare facilities. Another objective is the Love Whipps Cross campaign. Having our hospital rebuilt will be a huge priority for me and the council. Health places and hospitals are a key part of how we support housing developments in a way that means residents don’t miss out when we get new developments. And they also get better facilities. What are the pro and cons of regeneration? The pros are new stock, buildings, and public realm – the cons are disruption during building, and deciding what to keep and what to lose. London has to grow to meet the demands for housing. We want the people who want to live in our borough and to stay here to have the opportunity to do so, but we will need more housing. It’s about how we make sure people have the opportunity to work, and have flexible work spaces like the project we delivered at Central Parade (see page 30). We want people to enjoy themselves, and to have a great quality of life, whether that’s in our parks – Ridgeway or Langthorne Parks – or the Wetlands, or in leisure centres such as the Feel Good Centre. Funding for our vision comes from money we have spent, or secured in partnership with others to support us. As a result, it’s crucial to work with people who have a shared vision, who don’t cut corners and who want to provide really good housing and public realm, and who want to

Left: The Feel Good Leisure Centre has received £26 million of investment and features a 25-metre competition pool.

+ In Waltham Forest, our communities remain very diverse and we have a great sense of community spirit + It’s fair to say we are not finding it difficult to get partners: they are very eager to invest in Waltham Forest. The quality of developers who want to work in the borough has risen over the last four years.

We want to avoid bad design. We want active frontages.

Gentrification: can there be an upside to this sort of change and if so, what are the benefits? Gentrification is a massive challenge for London. It’s determined by people who own their own homes deciding to sell to the highest bidder. That’s the private housing model that exists in this country. The question is: how do we enable people to become homeowners or live in good quality, private rented accommodation? This is about our landlord licensing scheme and seeking to work with developers who have a social conscience. In Waltham Forest, our communities remain very diverse and we have a great sense of community spirit and of people coming together.

Yes, there’s been mistakes made in the past: I don’t think there is a London borough that doesn’t have instances of developments it isn’t 100% pleased with. It’s about how we make the most of the opportunities. RICHARD UPTON, DEPUTY CHIEF EXECUTIVE, U+I How can private sector objectives be tailored to prioritise development to benefit communities? The private sector needs to excite people with the prospect of change and hope, rather than change and hate. Property developers need to realise that their reputation will change for the better if the places we create do too. At U+I, when we are developing a scheme, we are constantly looking at the local community and asking ourselves: what’s missing? How might we


When considering regeneration, what does the council wish to avoid?


support us in making sure we get sufficient school and GP places.

barriers. It can enrich lives, encourage greater connections across society and liberate enterprise.

Right: Richard Upton, deputy chief executive at developer U+I. Below: its involvement with Blackhorse Workshop is supporting the borough’s producers with access to free space.

provide it? How might we cultivate something that is already in the soil? Taking time to explore and understand a place’s history and community can provide inspiration for the future potential and help us harness the special and unique qualities of a particular area. Development that takes this into account tends to be more productive as it is unlocking the potential that is already there, enhancing connections between past, present and future.

36 Interviews

It takes as much effort, sweat and tears to develop badly as to develop well and the results can hang around for decades. Developers must be more imaginative and intelligent in the way we address some of the challenges of our age in creating places where we live, work and play. If we don’t we lose our licence to operate and the trust of our communities. What are the pros and cons of regeneration and how is U+I challenging perceptions that developers prioritise profit margins over the needs of communities? To put it simply, bad development raises barriers between people. Good development demolishes those

At U+I we recognise that we cannot develop in isolation. Our priority is to connect with people and businesses whose lives we affect, because what we do tends to last. We actively look to involve local people and communities in creating places and spaces. It’s not easy and we don’t always get it right but this quest to connect and involve is an essential part of U+I. When development is done properly, it can be a real force for positive change, delivering social and economic benefit at community level. How will the work the company is doing in Waltham Forest, such as with Blackhorse Workshop, inspire the positive change it is aiming for? U+I is working with Blackhorse Workshop to celebrate maker culture in the Blackhorse Road area. Our partnership highlights our understanding of the importance of creative industries to local people and allowed us to open up a site to the local community at a time when it could be standing derelict. From July to December 2017, Sideshow brought life to the Equipment Works site and provided a temporary home for local makers, who have been given free space to showcase their work. In the long term, there will be beautifully designed commercial workshops, as part of the comprehensive regeneration plans. Elements of Sideshow and Equipment Work architecture acknowledge the site’s history and heritage, as the original home of the Associated Equipment Company Factory, whose prototypes inspired the design of London’s iconic Routemaster bus.

Editor’s note: this interview was conducted before U+I agreed to sell Equipment Works to Telford Homes in December 2017 (see page 8).



Your home isn’t just an investment for the long term. It’s also an investment in life. A stylish collection of 1, 2 & 3 bedroom apartments located in Walthamstow. Boasting excellent transport links, it’s an ideal location for those who enjoy the hustle and bustle of London living.

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* Normal Taylor Wimpey terms and conditions apply. Images used for illustrative purposes only. Images include optional upgrades at additional cost. Prices correct at time of going to press. Please speak to our Sales Executives regarding the tenure of our new homes. January 2018.

Effecting positive change in everything that we do Partnership working is the cornerstone of our business and we are proud to be working with Waltham Forest Council to achieve significant regeneration in the Borough. Together we are working on an ambitious programme that will see Councilowned garage sites being transformed into over 300 new homes by the year 2020. Councillor Khevyn Limbajee, Cabinet Member for Housing said: “I’m pleased to be working in partnership with ENGIE on this project, and look forward to seeing these sites being transformed into high quality homes for local people.” Dan Germann, Regional Managing Director at ENGIE’s London and Southern Developments also commented, “We aim to leave a lasting legacy in Waltham Forest through both housing delivery, and various community engagement and impact initiatives.”

39 Housing

Making a move The housing crisis in London remains acute and councils across the capital are having to find increasingly inventive ways to address it. Jane Thynne reports on Waltham Forest’s historic approach and the strategy the council is adopting to tackle current problems


ver the coming years, housing in Waltham Forest is set to be transformed. From Chingford to Leyton, the council is committed to providing thousands of new homes for its burgeoning community. As Councillor Khevyn Limabjee, portfolio lead member for housing, affirms: “One key priority is ensuring a decent roof over everyone’s head.”

Waltham Forest is proud of its tradition of an ethical approach to housing, which dates back to the late 19th century and the creation of the Warner Estate. Built by Thomas Courtenay Warner, the project featured spacious one and twobedroom properties across 121.4ha in Walthamstow, complete with communal gardens and “your own front door”.

Above: Taylor Wimpey’s Eclipse development at Blackhorse Road is attracting first-time buyers.

They were built for and rented by the working classes at truly affordable rents, providing “a decent roof ” over the heads of generations of families for more than a century. While many are now in the hands of private owners, artists Katherine Green and Lucy Harrison are keeping the Warner spirit alive with their award-winning heritage initiative; WE: The Ex-Warner Estate in Waltham Forest – an exhibition of photographs and oral histories celebrating residents past and present. “The estate was unique,” says Harrison. “The properties were designed to be affordable so people could invest in their surroundings. It was about a shared experience: something to take pride in.”

40 Housing Below: The history of the Warner Estate in Walthamstow is celebrated and is seen to reflect the area’s strong community spirit.

That sense of community responsibility and a more holistic approach to regeneration is at the forefront of the borough’s housing policy. It can already be witnessed in the St James and South Grove sections of Walthamstow town centre, where the council’s Supplementary Planning Document has outlined not only new housing – a development of 473 homes by Hadley Property Group has been given the go-ahead (along with flexible communal space and walking and cycling routes) – but

a new health hub and a range of high quality evening entertainment venues, while maintaining the area’s heritage. “This is very much part of the strategy,” says Welsh, who adds: “We are constantly looking to link up developments with social infrastructure – such as schools, nurseries and so on – as well as within workspaces.” There is no getting away from the reality of the figures, however, and while Waltham Forest claims to have delivered more affordable housing than any other London borough since 2014, as of July 2017, there were still 8,751 households on the council’s housing register. But changes are on the way. Work has already started at the Marlowe Road estate, the first project in the council’s estate regeneration programme, which will see 430 homes built for social rent and private sale in partnership with Countryside. The formation of Waltham Forest Developments – a company backed by £100 million of council investment with a pipeline to deliver 500 new homes that will “acquire or build on council-owned sites”, to speed up the construction process, is also in motion. Waltham Forest Developments is also keen to create the “right sort” of housing tenures. According to the latest census, the borough is home to around 271,200 people and rising, with a median age of 34 years (below the UK average of 40 years). This prompted the council to ask younger residents about the kind of housing they wanted. “Accommodation needs are changing,” says Welsh. “Things such as shared housing, or with communal living, and location are key. But it’s clear that just building the homes we have always built is not of use.” Some developers have already identified Walthamstow’s Blackhorse Lane as the borough hotspot for young buyers and renters.

Left: Fizzy Living’s PRS scheme on Blackhorse Lane appeals to young professionals – the flats are pet friendly.

One enterprise that has its eyes on the young professional end of the market is Fizzy Living. The PRS landlord has recently completed phase one of its 111-apartment Blackhorse Lane development. Fully serviced homes start at £1,450 per month and include free wifi, co-working spaces and a weekly tenants-with-pets social, dubbed ‘Yappy Hour’. Managing director Harry Downes says: “We appeal to ‘generation rent’ if you like – people who want affordable, quality accommodation with good transport links. Walthamstow is great because it’s two minutes away from a station and near excellent shopping facilities and restaurants.”

Next door, the Eclipse scheme is part of Taylor Wimpey’s 500-unit Blackhorse Lane build. It includes a mix of one, two and three-bedroom contemporary apartments ranges from £335,000 to £525,000 in price, and has the added incentive of a ‘helpto-buy’ offer. It also cites “excellent transport links” as the reason for its success. Plots are being snapped up by first-time buyers from the local area. Traditionally one of the mainstays of affordable housing in the area, Peabody has also targeted the Blackhorse Lane sector, providing mixed-use housing at Headbourne House, Clayton Court and Unity Works to create more than 100 new homes. And for 2018, along with developer Hill, it will complete on its £350 million scheme in Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, which will see the construction of 300 properties – 62 of which will be affordable.


Fresh Student Living recently opened Mannequin House, which offers studios and shared living opportunities from £151 a week and quick transport links to various university campuses.


+ We have everything – culture, retail and great transport links. It’s a great place to live +

Like other London boroughs, Waltham Forest is undergoing huge transformation. “It’s very exciting,” says Welsh. “We have everything – culture, retail and great transport links. It’s a great place to live and we want to make it even better.” Residents’ views:

Above: Peabody’s Unity Works project. Below: Flats at Taylor Wimpey’s Eclipse scheme will overlook a landscaped courtyard.

Welsh says Waltham Forest Developments is seeking sites borough-wide, but it makes sense to start where suitable council land exists. One such place is Chingford. “There is a lot of council land there, so we have to make the most of it, [while] making sure our communities are not left behind,” he says. Welsh is clear that all opportunities will be explored when it comes to creating new homes.

42 Housing

“We have mapped out all our redundant space,” he says. “It may not benefit from lots of amenities, but they could provide developmental potential on a hidden homes basis.” The company is also looking at a range of build solutions, including off-site assembly of modular constructions enabling developers to provide homes very quickly. This, according to Welsh, is ideal for sites deemed to be of ‘meanwhile use’ for a period up to 10 years.

Kieran Smith, 30, St James Street “We have lived in different London boroughs with increasingly unaffordable rents, then we found a flat near St James Street that was ideal. We’re now looking to buy here. I love Walthamstow because of the open spaces, cinema, food and transport links. There is a real community spirit too.” John Greatwood, 47, Walthamstow “I opted for Walthamstow because of its fabulous transport links. I travel a lot for work, and the transport links are great. There has been a lot of money invested in the area. I arrived here thinking I would give it a year, but now I can’t imagine living anywhere else.” “Bob”, Keith Road, taken from the Ex-Warner Project oral history “Right up until 1962, I can never ever remember having a key for the door... I used to come home from school, put my hand through the letter box, pull the string and the door used to open. Security of a night was: “anybody taken the string off?” you know, off the door, it used to pull the latch. That was the security, taking the string off…”

THE SCENE IN WALTHAMSTOW Winner: National Housing Awards 2015 – Overall Winner and Best Regeneration Scheme

Winner: New London Architecture Awards 2016, Best Mixed Use Scheme

Winner: London Planning Awards 2017, Best Town Centre Project

Winner: What House Awards 2015, Best Development, Best Brownfield Scheme

Winner: Housing Design Awards Winner: Waltham Forest 2016, Best Sustainable High Design Awards 2017, Outstanding Density Design Contribution to the Regeneration of Walthamstow Town Centre

Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association (ISHA) leads the North River Alliance, a consortium of nine community-based housing associations. Together, we have built nearly 600 affordable homes in London Borough of Waltham Forest since 2010, investing £112m and attracting grant of £45m. One of our flagship schemes has been the development of The Scene in Walthamstow, which has won several major national awards. However its main achievement has been the transformation of the centre of Walthamstow as a place to live and be entertained. By working together, the North River Alliance develop housing solutions for our local communities. For more information, please contact: Colin Archer, Director of Development and New Business, 0207 704 7301,

12,000 HOMES BY 2020



The Creative Choice

INVEST Waltham Forest | east London

Stansted Airport 32 mins by road




DEVELOPMENT KEY Highlighting the major regeneration schemes and areas in Waltham Forest, with a focus on: 1. Town Hall Vision 2. Blackhorse station hub sites 3. Stonelea and Thornebury 4. Mandora Site 5. Webbs site 6. Blackhorse Road Additional projects: 7. The Mall 8. Lea Bridge sites 1, 2 and 3 9. Coronation Square 10. Lea Bridge & Leyton vision (area marked as

HIGHAMS PARK Highams Park A406





Stansted Airport 33 mins by train Central London 11 mins by tube

To‚enham Hale


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

1 BLACKHORSE LANE Blackhorse Road


Wood Street

Walthamstow Central


St James Street

Walthamstow Queens Road ST JAMES’ STREET


Central London 15 mins by train




Leyton Midland Road


Lea Bridge




Railway line

Leytonstone High Road

Roads Walthamstow Wetlands Housing zones

Leyton A12

Canary Wharf 15 mins by road

Eton Manor Olympic Park

3 London City Airport 19 mins by road


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TOWN HALL VISION Waltham Forest Council is consulting residents on plans to redevelop the 1930s town hall on Forest Road in Walthamstow, to create a community hub.

To the east of the town hall there would be office space built to house council staff and other local public sector organisations.

Proposals include space for retail and cafes, pedestrianising the area around the fountain and creating a new park with a centenary garden, as well as restoring a First World War memorial.

The proposals are expected to be cost-neutral and save up to £1 million of taxpayers’ money each year by enabling better use of publicly owned land and buildings in the borough under the One Public Estate initiative.

Homes would be built on the car park to the west, with at least 35% being allocated as affordable.

If the plan proceeds, the council would close nine older offices and move staff into the town hall site.

stonelea and thornebury This housing development in Leytonstone will be marketed as 100% affordable housing, following negotiations by the council, helping meet the borough’s strong demand for homes available for rent and shared ownership at prices local people can afford.

Peabody originally intended to have only 30% of the site as affordable homes, but the council was able to secure an agreement that 36 would be available for social rent and 43 for shared ownership.

There are 350 homes planned for the site, of which 50% are earmarked as affordable. Subject to planning permission, work could start in 2019.

Dick Mortimer, Peabody’s executive director of development, said: “We recognise a significant demand for high quality, family sized homes in the borough and more than onethird of this scheme will be units with three or more bedrooms.”

The site is surrounded by mixeduse developments, which are creating a neighbourhood of around 1,700 homes, with retail, commercial and leisure spaces. Matt Calladine, regional land and development director at Barratt London, said: “The TfL car park is an important development site in the context of the wider regeneration of this area.” The site forms part of the Blackhorse Lane and Northern Olympic Park Housing Zone. TfL has established that 90% of users of the existing car park arrive from locations closer to another station.

“Working with the Peabody Group is a pleasure. We welcome socially aware developers to Waltham Forest, which can help us to build the infrastructure that creates thriving, happy communities.” The sites were originally purchased by housing association Family Mosaic in 2014, which secured detailed planning permission for the homes in 2016, before the organisation merged with Peabody in July 2017. The homes have been designed by Alan Camp Architects, which used a simple material palette of two colours of brick.


Transport for London (TfL) has chosen a joint venture of Barratt Homes London and housing association L&Q as its preferred bidder to develop a 0.72-ha site opposite Blackhorse Road station.

She said: “One of my priorities as the leader of the council is to make sure that everyone has a roof over their heads and providing affordable, high-quality housing is vital to achieving this.


Blackhorse road car park

There will be 79 homes built by the ENGIE group (formerly Keepmoat Regeneration) on the former NHS Stonelea and Thornebury sites off Union Close for social landlord Peabody Group.

Council leader Clare Coghill pledged support for the scheme, when visiting in August 2017.

Mandora site 48 Projects

Homes for sale and rent and new student accommodation at Blackhorse Lane are among the latest tangible signs of progress in and around the 2.75-ha Mandora site opposite Blackhorse Road station. This is one of the borough’s largest regeneration areas, where longderelict industrial land will see new homes and small business spaces, together with a park and public square, effectively creating a new suburb just a few minutes’ walk from the underground station. The site lies between Blackhorse Lane and the High Maynard Reservoir – part of the Walthamstow Wetlands – and the town centre. Developer Macdonald Egan was granted planning permission in 2014, and opened the Gnome House building in 2015 for community space, B1 office accommodation and eight apartments on two floors added on top of the original building. It also features a printmaking facility.

In September, Fresh Student Living opened Mannequin House, which has 485 cluster bedrooms in shared apartments and 42 studios. Ian Scott, of Curlew Student Trust, which now owns Mannequin House, said the site was suited to student accommodation given “the excellent transport links, with central London and many key universities accessible in under 15 minutes, and the opportunity to be part of a regeneration area”. In December 2017, Telford Homes aquired the 1.21-ha Equipment Works scheme from developer U+I and Parkdale Investments, with the contract exchange said to be agreed for £33.9 million. Detailed planning permission for a £130 million mixed-use scheme is in place. The 1.21-ha site will become a landscaped environment featuring 337 homes and a new public square, as well as 1,750sq m of commercial spaces for businesses.

Designs by DLA Architects reference the site’s industrial heritage and complement the scale and features of neighbouring regeneration proposals. The name Equipment Works comes from the site’s former use by the Associated Equipment Company, which made London buses there until 1927. Vacant possession is expected by April 2018 and Telford Homes intends to begin work in autumn 2018 with completion anticipated in late 2021. Jon Di-Stefano, chief executive of Telford Homes, called Equipment Works an “excellent build-to-rent opportunity”. “This acquisition not only adds to our substantial development pipeline, but should further enhance our reputation as a significant developer of build-to-rent housing in London,” he added.

WEBBS SITE This 1.67-ha former industrial site at Blackhorse Lane has been acquired by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, as part of the Waltham Forest Housing Zone for residential redevelopment and is being called London’s first 100% affordable housing scheme. Outline planning permission also includes 3,000sq m of workshop space and a new park. Khan has approved spending of £362,700 for the demolition and clearance of all existing buildings.

It says the site is an “increasingly popular choice among homebuyers looking for their perfect place in a trendy part of the city”.

A Taylor Wimpey spokesperson said: “We are delighted with the response we have received to the new homes at our Eclipse development, which was subject to a very successful launch event at our state-of-the-art sales centre.

The new properties are priced from £335,000, which the developer said are to a high specification. It will include 500 homes. Private rental landlord Fizzy Living agreed earlier this year to buy 111 of them under a forward funding structure. Properties will be aimed at professional people aged in their late 20s and 30s and will include an interactive hub where tenants can socialise and work. Taylor Wimpey will create a link with the next door Fizzy apartments and the Walthamstow Wetlands, which are just down the road.

“Works are progressing well on-site and the first homes are expected to be occupied at the end of 2018.” Phase one of the Fizzy Living homes was completed in December, while a second phase is in progress to provide 170 homes. The final phase is due to start in 2018. Fizzy Living managing director Harry Downes said: “The opportunity delivers all Fizzy’s purchase perametres and its location is perfect for fast access to the City and the West End.”


Phase two of Eclipse will comprise 150 new homes, including around 50 affordable properties to be managed by One Housing Group.


Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey has meanwhile launched the first of its one, two and three-bedroom homes at Eclipse on the Mandora site.

Housing associations Swan and Catalyst have been awarded preferred bidder status by the Greater London Authority for the site, on which they intend to build 330 homes for affordable shared ownership homes.

blackhorse road Developer Legal & General has started work on Blackhorse Mills, a build-to-rent scheme of 440 homes near Blackhorse Road Underground and Overground station.

Dan Batterton, build-to-rent fund manager at LGIM Real Assets, said: “Blackhorse Lane is a hugely vibrant and rapidly growing area of London. It needs new quality housing.

It is being built by Galliford Try Partnerships in a £120 million contract and is expected to be complete in late 2019.

“Waltham Forest Council has been a very supportive, forward-thinking partner and it is only through this joined up, progressive approach that we are able to make such a large investment into the Blackhorse Lane community, supporting residents and businesses.”

The site overlooks the recently opened Walthamstow Wetlands and will provide a mix of studios and one, two and three-bedroom homes. It will also include 1,858sq m of commercial accommodation.

He said Blackhorse Mills would become an exemplar of what

private renting could look like for future development projects. Also in the Blackhorse Road area, Watkin Jones Group has gained planning permission to build 353 homes for students in a series of blocks ranging from nine to 17 storeys, together with 900sq m of commercial space. The scheme in Forest Road would replace some former commercial buildings and together are the second large developments of homes and student accommodation in the area.

50 Projects


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Ways to connect With support from a local MP and the council, co-operative models of working are helping with problems in Waltham Forest, from risks attached to self-employment to the cost of renting workshops and food production. Lucy Clarke reports


elf-employed people in Waltham Forest are finding new ways to work in a crucial step forward for entrepreneurs and business-minded residents. Collaborative organisations such as the co-operative working space Indycube and the Blackhorse Workshop public facility are intent on encouraging freelance success across the borough.

The Labour MP for Walthamstow, Stella Creasy, hopes projects run by organisations like these will act as a gateway for promoting trade union membership among the 16.5% of her north-east London constituency who work for themselves. Indycube, in partnership with the community trade union, is helping to support Walthamstow’s growing selfemployed community.

Above: Indycube seeks to unionise self-employed people – such as graphic designers – to provide workers’ rights support.

Creasy tells Invest Waltham Forest: “With nearly one in seven residents in Walthamstow now self employed, supporting their entrepreneurship will be critical in helping to support our local community.” Indycube has taken over the CoOperative bank branch on Hoe Street, which serves as a base for its members and helps develop the business support on offer to residents. This will include low-cost work space, networking events and business support activities. Indycube’s founder Mark Hooper says the objective is straightforward: to nurture opportunities for selfemployed people by giving them a unionised community facility. “We want people to stay closer to home so they can pick up their children from school and travel less,” Hooper says.

Indycube has a 50/50 gender split, something Hooper believes is different to other workspaces, which, he says, “tend to be full of testosterone and boys with their toys”. “We have been around for eight years and approximately 2,000 people have benefited from our services,” he adds. Another boost to self-employed people is for those who suffer from unstable income brought about by late payments: Indycube offers help to overcome this problem for a small fee. Hooper points out small businesses and freelancers are £26 billion out of pocket because of late payments.

New ways to work

Hooper believes innovation is rare in places where everyone is the same.

“We have people through our doors who are operating a business on a global scale, but we also have small lifestyle businesses. Each is as important to us as the other.”


“We are also sector-agnostic, which essentially means we don’t care who comes in. The result is lots of different people, from different backgrounds and with different skills, come together to share their expertise.”

“While it’s important for people in the workspace to have selfemployment as a commonality,” he adds, “they don’t all have to be selling or making the same thing.

Creasy, who won the new union the backing of the co-operative party, calls Indycube “revolutionary in putting the means of production in the hands of the workers”.

+ Lots of different people – from different backgrounds and with different skills – come together +

Left: Blackhorse Workshop sees a community of makers come together to ply their trade or improve their skills.

Right: OrganicLea encourages people to come together in the Waltham Forest community to grow their own produce.

What are the major benefits? “Anyone can join and take advantage of services to get invoices paid on-time and access legal advice,” says Creasy.

Courses in a range of activities – from tiling to woodturning – also prove popular to those wanting to pursue hobbies or improve their skills.

“These are facilities none of them could afford to commission individually, but collective purchasing means they will all save time and money together.

Other alternative initiatives in the borough include OrganicLea, a community food project based in the Lea Valley.

54 New ways to work

“The union is also looking at how – when things get tough and business is inconsistent – it can offer a surety as well as parental leave.” Creasy tells Invest Waltham Forest she is invested in Indycube’s future: “I’m very excited by the opportunities Indycube and the union for the self-employed will give local people and look forward to helping develop this resource and its facilities in the months ahead.” Self-employed people also benefit from Blackhorse Workshop on Sutherland Road, a public space dedicated to making and mending, with open access to a fully equipped wood and metal workshop. Founded by architecture and design practice, Assemble, the space provides opportunities to develop startup businesses, with the support of industry expertise and a community of makers. It is available to everyone – from professional carpenters to those who just want to flex their creative muscle.

With a workers’ co-op at its core, the egalitarian organisation produces and distributes food and plants locally, inspiring and supporting others to do the same. “We have two acres [0.8ha] of land on the edge of Epping Forest where we grow fruit and vegetables,” Sunniva Taylor from OrganicLea explains. “We do it with the co-op model at the heart but also with a huge amount of volunteers who benefit in different ways, such as participating in purposeful and meaningful activity in a green space. The volunteers are people who are interested in growing fresh produce, while some have been referred because of mental health issues such as social anxiety and depression. Taylor says: “We learn through doing and encourage everyone to develop their skills, work on their confidence and take those skills to other places.” It is clear Waltham Forest’s workforce are benefiting from new ways to work in a myriad of ways.


Supporting the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

Tim Metcalfe Communications manager and associate partner

Josie Brewer Business development manager

+ For more information about these companies, please visit +

Wheel of fortune

Those pursuing the ambition to set up their own business are finding Walthamstow’s Central Parade gives them the platform they need. Ruth McKee visits a bicycle designer at the facility who was given the support to put him on the right path

56 Retail and innovation


althamstow, once associated with traditional east London markets, is now one of the most fashionable parts of north-east London, renowned for the ingenuity and creativity of local artists and entrepreneurs who have set about establishing businesses in the town. Central Parade in Hoe Street, run by social enterprise company Meanwhile Space was created from a formerly empty, dormant space and is home to a range of varied enterprises. Thanks to reduced rent and support from the council, independent businesses are given the chance to establish themselves and grow in a supportive environment.

Today Bread, a bakery run by ‘baking king’ Alex Bettler, who started his career batch-baking bread in his tiny flat in Clapton, Hackney three years ago, is one example. Another is Diego Lombardi’s bespoke bicycle company, Racer Rosa. Lombardi has been passionate about cycling since he was a child and after a stint as a graphic designer, set up his business in 2010. “I managed to make my hobby my job,” he says. At his shop in the parade, the designer builds custom-made, handcrafted, made-to-measure bikes for his growing customer base. The flexible lease and support from Meanwhile Space means Racer Rosa’s business has taken off.

Above: Diego’s Lombardi’s bespoke bicycle business, Racer Rosa, is thriving at Central Parade.

Lombardi says: “It was a chance for us to have a retail space on the high street. We are a start-up and our lease was flexible, which was ideal. “That, combined with the support of lower rent than other places meant we could really focus on growing our business. Lombardi sees his business as the alternative to the mass production of manufacturing in the far east. “About 95% of bikes and bike components are made in China and we want to provide an alternative to that,” he says. Racer Rosa typifies the type of business found at Central Parade, with its broad array of varied craftspeople, designers and artists.

from the shop as a once-in-a-lifetime purchase, having a space where Lombardi can spend time getting to know his customers is important to him. If his clients are prepared to make an investment, Lombardi wants to give them something back. Bespoke retailers are given a boost in the London Borough of Waltham Forest, but the retail scene may be set for a lift elsewhere too. Those living in and around the town centre are set to see an extension of The Mall on Selborne Road following a decision by the council to resolve to grant consent for proposals for a mixed-use development to rejuvenate Walthamstow town centre.

“The made-to-measure bikes are specific to the individual. Every single part of the machine is customised,” Lombardi explains.

Expansion will boost employment in the area with more than 500 full and part-time roles created by the influx of retailers into the revamped space.

“For our clients, purchasing a bike from us is the equivalent of getting a tailor-made dress rather than buying something mass produced from a high street shop.”

There will be 502 new homes included within the redevelopment project, along with a new town square and gardens.

Because the majority of Racer Rosa’s customers see the investment in a bike

Waltham Forest’s retail scene is clearly being bolstered as it caters for both independent and bigger brands.

Retail and innovation

The plans, being brought forward by shopping centre owner Capital & Regional, include building an extra 8,769sq m of retail and leisure floorspace, to accommodate new retailers. 57

Having a dedicated shop to work at in the hub means Lombardi can give his clients the focused attention and consideration needed to create a bicycle tailored to their needs.

Sites set on Lea Bridge Waltham Forest Council is looking for expressions of interest in three Lea Bridge sites. Huub Nieuwstadt reports Sites in Lea Bridge: Argall Way (far left) and Orient Way (left).

The London Borough of Waltham Forest is marketing three landmark development opportunities located in the Lea Bridge area. Since the reopening of Lea Bridge station in May 2016, the council has begun to create a new gateway to the borough in this area. 58 Sitematch

The three sites will be disposed to deliver high quality residential-led, mixed-use development, including a new entrance for Lea Bridge Station. SITE ONE: STATION SITE, ARGALL WAY The first site is a triangular shaped grass area roughly 0.25ha in size and conveniently located adjacent to the entrance of Lea Bridge station. The site offers an opportunity for the development of a residential tower, functioning as a landmark for the local area and highlighting the location of the station based nearby. A tall building will also benefit from scenic views across Lee Valley Regional Park to the west of the site. The ground floor can be used for retail purposes.

SITE TWO: LEA BRIDGE ROAD The largest of the three sites (0.41ha) is currently used as an informal open space. This site could facilitate cultural and conventional commercial uses, underlining council aims for the sites to support a new neighbourhood as the new local centre. SITE THREE: ORIENT WAY This is the smallest of the three sites, measuring 0.2ha. It is an open grassed area adjacent to the railway. The council sees the site as suitable for a residential tower, which should not be as tall as the proposed landmark tower on site one. The ground floor may be used for retail or employment purposes. The redevelopment of three sites is a part of the borough’s wider regeneration strategy, which could see the delivery of 4,000 new homes in the area, as well as 100,000sq m of additional business space. The area benefits from excellent transport links with direct train connections to Stratford and Tottenham Hale. Local residents enjoy numerous amenities, including green space and leisure facilities.

Director of investment and delivery, Jonathan Martin and head of strategic regeneration, Will Teasdale from the London Borough of Waltham Forest are keen to discuss this opportunity at the next Sitmatch London on 8 February 2018. For more details contact Josie Brewer on 020 7978 6840

“I think opportunities like Sitematch help to really raise up the conversation between public sector and private sector. It’s actually about matching the opportunities that exist in terms of land to the ambition and desire for developers to build what London needs.”

– Eleanor Kelly, chief executive, Southwark Council

These public sector attendees are ready to meet you, book your place now to secure your meetings.

Adur & Worthing ● Barking and Dagenham ● Basingstoke Bexley ● Brent ● Camden ● Crawley ● Ealing ● Enfield

For private sector attendees contact Josie Brewer Lewisham ● Lambeth ● Merton ● Ministry of Justice Newham ● NHS Property Services ● Redbridge

Greater London Authority ● Government Property Unit Hackney ● Harrow ● Havering ● Hampshire County Hillingdon ●Hounslow ● Islington ● Kingston

Richmond ● Southamptom City ● Southwark ● Sutton

Walthamabout Forest ● Wandsworth For enquiries sponsorship, or if Places cost £899+VAT you’re a local authority looking to be Book nowplease contact Paul Gussar involved, If you’d like to attend as a delegate, please contact Josie Brewer,

For enquiries about sponsorship, or if you’re a local authority looking to be involved, please contact Paul Gussar,

8 February 2018 155 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 3YD or call 020 7978 6840 Join the discussion @SITEMATCH




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In 2018 we’re back with a new look and the biggest event yet.

Date: 8 February 2018 Venue: 155 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 3YD Time: 9.00 – 16.30


Sitematch London 2017 brokered 324 meetings with 55 public sector land owners in attendance, stimulating development and economic growth.


60 Sitematch


Invest Waltham Forest 4  

This fourth edition of Invest Waltham Forest looks at how the borough is prioritising culture-led regeneration and good quality design.

Invest Waltham Forest 4  

This fourth edition of Invest Waltham Forest looks at how the borough is prioritising culture-led regeneration and good quality design.