News Walthamstow

New details of huge Blackhorse Lane development revealed

The plans include around 1,800 new flats and a park about as big as 23 tennis courts

By Victoria Munro

A depiction of the planned development in Uplands Business Park (credit: NEAT)

An immense development proposed in Blackhorse Lane will contain approximately 1,800 homes and a park about as big as 23 tennis courts, new planning documents reveal.

At a briefing for Waltham Forest Council’s planning committee last week, developers BlackRock and NEAT revealed they hope to start work at Uplands Business Park as early as next year.

A new document distributed to councillors at the briefing states the developers have now reduced the number of towers they hope to build in order to increase the size of the planned park.

However, despite residents expressing concerns about the height of planned buildings, the developers insist their design will “respect the area’s character and protect existing residential amenity”. 

The Upland development will be built in two phases, with the first due to begin next year and the second “likely to start in 2026”.

During the first phase, all existing businesses on the industrial estate will be moved into new spaces in Goldsmith Yard, near Uplands House, and a block of 119 flats will be built.

A map of the development given to councillors

During the second phase, towers with the remaining approximately 1,700 planned flats will be built, alongside “retail, leisure and community spaces” and the new “Wetlands Waterside” park. 

According to a planning application submitted to the council in October, the tallest flat block could be as high as 145metres, almost half the height of the Shard.

During consultation with residents, by far the most common concern raised was about the height of the planned buildings, expressed by 145 of the 171 people who responded.

In response, the developers note that the Blackhorse Lane Masterplan and the council’s draft Local Plan, which is still struggling to win approval from government inspectors, deem the area suitable for buildings taller than 18 storeys.

They add: “The applicant has followed a design-led approach, supported by extensive technical testing, to inform the careful placement of the tall and taller buildings on the site.

“This has led to a reduction in the number of tall buildings and a significant increase in the provision of green space. 

“The tall buildings are proposed within the centre of the site around the new high-quality public spaces, with building heights then stepping down towards Blackhorse Lane and the Walthamstow Wetlands.

“This approach seeks to respect the area’s character and protect existing residential amenity, while also providing significant job growth and much-needed new homes.”

According to the document distributed to councillors, the developers will pay around £16million to the council in section 106 contributions and Community Infrastructure Levy charges, intended to pay for infrastructure to support residents who will move into the new flats. 

The document also highlights that landowner BlackRock “has a long history and presence at the site” and supported many of the existing businesses on the estate during Covid.

The development’s new industrial spaces will allegedly create more than 1,000 new jobs, with “a particular focus on enabling the food and beverage sector to flourish[…] and incorporating greener, more sustainable industrial uses.”

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the number of planned flats had been reduced to 1,600