Local Plan for Waltham Forest puts emphasis on building in south of borough, reports James Cracknell
Waltham Forest Council has set out its plans for building 27,000 new homes in the borough over the next 15 years.
The council’s draft Local Plan, now out for public consultation until the end of September, puts forward the local authority’s proposals for meeting the tough new housing targets recently set by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
Promising to provide 1,800 new homes per year, the council has designated the south of the borough as being the best place to build the bulk of them. It states that at least 15,000 “genuinely affordable” new homes and 3,250 new jobs will be provided in the “strategic locations” of Lea Bridge, Low Hall, Church Road, Leyton, Leytonstone, Whipps Cross and Bakers Arms between 2020 and 2035.
By comparison Walthamstow is set to get 8,000 new homes and 1,600 jobs, while Chingford and Highams Park are earmarked for 4,000 homes and 1,940 jobs.
Development in the south of the borough will be boosted by a new railway station at Ruckholt Road, while Lea Bridge, Low Hall and Church Road “will become home to a dynamic hub of a diverse, growing and resilient creative economy which retains its industrial nature”.
However, the draft Local Plan makes clear that planning permission for new housing will only be granted “if it can be demonstrated that there is, or will be, sufficient infrastructure capacity to support and meet growth requirements”.
Focusing population growth in the south of the borough will “reduce pressure for substantial incremental development in established residential areas” and provide “the opportunity to transform communities, delivering renewal and strategic scale regeneration”.
The Local Plan adds that intensification of housing development in Waltham Forest is “not new” but “needs to increase and accelerate” – with the challenge to ensure “the right forms of intensification at the right locations”.
Alongside new housing, the Local Plan looks at where new jobs can be provided, with 46,000 square metres of new employment space set to be created. It also includes a ‘call for sites’ that gives local people a chance to suggest suitable sites where development could take place. These will be used to inform the council’s final Local Plan submission to the government in spring 2020.
To take part in the Local Plan consultation before 30th September: