Events News Walthamstow

Third plan to redevelop The Standard approved

The scheme contains 272 “shared-living” flats but no affordable housing
By Local Democracy Reporter Josh Mellor

A night view of The Standard (Credit: Scape)
A night view of The Standard (Credit: Scape)

Plans to replace Walthamstow’s iconic former music venue The Standard, while adding a 272-room “shared-living” development were approved yesterday.

Waltham Forest’s planning committee greenlit developer Scape’s proposal for a nine-storey building opposite Blackhorse Road station, where a pub building has stood for at least 150 years.

The building was, until 2011, home to a venue known as The Standard and the council has previously approved two applications to redevelop the site, both of which failed to materialise.

Most recently, planning permission for a new venue and 300 “co-living” flats was awarded in 2020 to The Collective, which went into administration less than a year later.

The Collective’s abandoned plans (credit: The Collective)

Committee members voted unanimously in favour of Scape’s application, with chairwoman Jenny Gray urging the company not to “go out of business” before completion.

The plans include a double-height venue in the basement with a capacity of around 500 people, an open-plan workspace, lounge and reception on the ground floor and 272 private bedrooms and kitchenettes in the floors above.

A central staircase below a skylight will lead to a communal kitchen area, meeting rooms, TV room, bar, outdoor terrace with BBQ and gym spread across the first and second floors.

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The scheme contains no affordable housing, meaning final approval will only come after the council has finalised a section 106 agreement with Scape, requiring them to help fund affordable flats elsewhere.

Scape argued that, even without affordable housing, the scheme will make a £6.9m loss due to the £779,000 cost of buying the land. However, a one-off £500,000 payment has been agreed as the council’s consultant believes the scheme will be “in surplus”.

A CGI image of The Standard from above (Credit: Scape)

Commenting on The Collective’s previous designs, Scape’s agent Charles Moran called the new plans “much better” due to the increased size of the rooms and venue, as well as the “high quality and sustainable” building.

He also praised Waltham Forest Council’s team for a “positive experience” during the planning application.

When asked whether the shared-living designs are akin to a large House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), council planning officer Rizo said the criteria is “different”.

He said that in the Mayor’s London plan there is specific guidance on room sizes and the “quality of spaces” in shared-living accommodation.

The rooms, 20-27sqm in floor space, will each contain a bathroom, small kitchen, double bed and “generous storage space”. Each floor will also have two shared outdoor terrace spaces and an indoor “breakout space”.

The report notes that the communal kitchen size is “limited” but that refreshment bars on the ground and first floor would “reduce any pressure”.

Scape’s website describes the company as a student accommodation company that already runs six sites in London.

Studios at its Wembley site, a similar distance from central London, are on the market for £1,100-1,400 per month.

Residents booking their room can also select extras including regular cleaning, bedsheets or a kitchen pack.

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