Map reveals 26 Waltham Forest sites set for new towers by 2035

The council defines “tall buildings” as ten or more storeys, although some developers are building far higher than that
By Victoria Munro

Stock image (credit: Pixabay)
Stock image (credit: Pixabay)

A new map reveals all 26 sites where Waltham Forest Council hopes to see tower blocks built by 2035.The council submitted the map of locations for “tall buildings” as part of its latest bid to have its Local Plan, a document shaping housing and other development, approved by the government’s Planning Inspectorate.The draft plan was sent back to the council earlier this year, after inspectors raised concerns about its ambition to see 27,000 new homes built, an average of around 1,800 every year.The map shows the majority of sites for tall buildings – defined as towers of ten or more storeys – are concentrated in the south of the borough, with only three in the north of the borough.The council’s map of locations for “tall buildings” (credit: Waltham Forest Council)


The Blackhorse Lane area is one of the council’s most important locations for new housing and could see up to 3,700 new homes, according to its “masterplan” for the area.The largest potential development within the site could see eight towers, ranging from 27 to 38 storeys, built on Uplands Business Park by American company BlackRockHowever, the company and its partner NEAT are still in the early stages of the process and have yet to submit a formal planning application.An artist’s impression of the proposed scheme (credit: BlackRock/NEAT)Towers in Walthamstow that have received planning permission already include two sites in Forest Road: an eleven-storey building on the site of the former Wood Street Library, which will also house the council’s “families and homes hub”, and eight flat blocks on the former Homebase site, ranging from four to 18 storeys tall. Construction has already started on the immense towers – 34 and 26 storeys high – planned at The Mall (now known as 17&Central) site in the centre of townOther sites earmarked for tall towers include the Sainsbury’s and Wilkos in the High Street, St James Quarter and Walthamstow Central Station. 


The second largest site for new homes set out in the draft Local Plan is at New Spitalfields Market in Leyton, where the council expects to see up to 2,750 new homes.The current market, which is the largest in the UK, has occupied the site since the early 1990s but is expected to move to a new home in Dagenham by 2026.Elsewhere in Leyton, the council’s “flagship regeneration project” – at the Score Centre site – is already well into its first phase of construction. “Coronation Square” at the Score Centre site (credit: Taylor Wimpey)While the last of the 750 new homes is not expected for some years, developer Taylor Wimpey has already put the first flats on the market. Other sites that are already underway include the controversial Lea Bridge Station development and hundreds of homes at Lea Bridge Gasworks.Other potential sites include almost 2,000 new homes at Leyton Mills Retail Park, 1,250 at an industrial site in Auckland Road and 700 each at Low Hall Depot and an industrial site in Estate Way.

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In Leytonstone, the biggest development is the plans for the Whipps Cross site, which received outline planning permission for up to 1,500 new homes in November last year.A vision of the new hospital (credit: Barts Health NHS Trust)However, the High Road Tesco and adjoining sites, including the McDonalds and Moreia Welsh Presbyterian Church, could make way for up to 1,100 new homes. While a planning application has yet to be submitted, around 600 new homes are likely to be built on the Avenue Road estate and Thorne Close.Other sites are Joseph Ray Road, Church Lane car park and the Matalan site. An industrial site in Howard Road is also set to be redeveloped and, while no new houses are currently suggested, the draft plan notes the potential for “the introduction of other uses”.

Chingford and Highams Park

Typically, the borough’s northern area has been far more resistant to tall buildings, with some Conservative councillors representing Chingford previously claiming anything above three storeys would harm its “quaint, semi-rural” character.There are far fewer sites earmarked for tall buildings past the North Circular, although each one represents hundreds of new homes and will likely receive fierce opposition.In Highams Park, the Sainsbury’s car park in Walthamstow Avenue has been put forward as potentially accommodating up to 430 new homes.The Morrisons supermarket and carpark could see 270 new homes, according to the draft plan, while the Motorpoint in Sewardstone Road could make way for 385 new homes. To find out more about the draft Local Plan, visit the council’s website here.

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