Page 30

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.

Profile for 3Fox International Ltd

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.