News Walthamstow

Three new blocks to be squeezed onto existing estate

The new Priory Court estate blocks will contain 83 flats, half of which will be sold on the private market

By Josh Mellor, Local Democracy Reporter

Planned new blocks at the Priory Court estate (credit: Sixty Bricks)

Three new flat blocks with a total of 83 new homes will be built between the existing buildings of a Walthamstow estate.

The £34million project will still require planning permission, with an application expected later this month, but was approved in outline terms by Waltham Forest Council leaders yesterday. 

In addition to the new blocks, Priory Court Estate will also receive a “multi-use games area” and new CCTV and lighting. 

Of the new flats, 43 will be sold on the private market and the rest will be either sold as shared-ownership or rented to council tenants. 

At a cabinet meeting this week (13th January), lead member for housing and regeneration Ahsan Khan said it was “challenging” to ensure half of the new homes were affordable.

He added: “Hopefully this project is not just for new buildings but also those who live around that estate.”

Plans for the Priory Court estate (credit: Sixty Bricks)

Council leader Grace Williams, who is also the ward councillor for Priory Court residents, said she has been “working hard” to improve the estate since she was elected in 2014.

She said: “It’s been done by consulting residents and identifying the existing benefits, which is why it has taken so long to get that scheme right.”

Residents were first consulted on the plans in December 2019, when the council intended to build 118 new flats, although this has since been reduced.

The new blocks will be built by the council-owned development company Sixty Bricks.

The private homes will be funded through a £17m loan to Sixty Bricks from the council’s general fund, while the affordable units will be funded by a £17m loan from the council’s ring-fenced housing account.

Hinting at the “challenges” faced by financing the scheme, the report says build costs have jumped by 20% in the last 12-18 months due to “Brexit and market conditions”.

According to the council’s “framework” for building new homes using its housing account funds, the affordable homes should generate enough money to cover their operating costs, generate one percent growth and be paid back within 40 years.

Priory Court Estate was first built in 1949 and, in 1998, further development saw 18 new blocks added, containing 134 flats, a shop and community centre.