Leytonstone News

Leytonstone estate will more than double in size

Avenue Road Estate’s highest point will go from nine storeys to 23

By Josh Mellor, Local Democracy Reporter

Avenue Road Estate in Leytonstone (credit: Patrick Dowse)

A Leytonstone council estate will be knocked down and rebuilt with almost double the number of flats in towers of up to 23 storeys high.

Avenue Road Estate in Langthorne Road currently contains 258 flats in nine-storey blocks, mostly owned by the council, but will be rebuilt with 617 after planning permission was granted last night. 

In March 2021, a ballot of the estate’s residents voted in favour of demolishing the original buildings, which date back to the 1960s and which Waltham Forest Council said failed to “meet the modern standards [it] would expect to provide”.

Last September, only a few months after construction was originally expected to begin, developer Bellway insisted that “significant change in the economic environment” meant it needed to renegotiate its agreement with the council to stop the project collapsing.

An artist’s impression of the estate’s tallest planned tower (credit: Bellway/PRP)

Agreed changes included the council paying Bellway more for each of the council flats it rebuilds, although a report prepared for council leaders said the revised total would still be within the scheme’s overall budget.

Members of the council’s planning committee approved the scheme unanimously yesterday after a short meeting that, unusually, heard no objections from the public.

Committee chair Jenny Gray said the lack of objections was “remarkable” and likely indicated that the public consultations held with current residents were “very successful”.

Speaking at the meeting, councillor for nearby Cann Hall ward Sally Littlejohn also praised the plans after seeing the “deterioration” of the estate’s buildings over recent years.

An aerial view of the existing estate (credit: Bellway)

Following five years of consultation, 241 council tenants will be rehoused on the estate, which will soon also be home to 20 shared ownership flats and 375 flats for rent on the private market.

The existing council residents will be rehoused together in smaller blocks to the south of the site, some as small as three storeys, in line with their ”strong preference” to keep their community together.

The planned 23-storey tower, the new estate’s highest point, will be at the opposite end of the site and will, according to Architects PRP, act as a “nodal point for way-finding and destination” from nearby Leyton Station.

An aerial view of the planned new estate (credit: Bellway)

The new layout will include two community buildings, two retail units, public pedestrian and cycle routes, more than 100 new trees and access to a private podium or terrace space for each building.

In a late update to designs, an extra stair core was added to all buildings over 30metres tall as a change to fire safety rules is “very likely” to happen later this year.

In line with the London Plan, the estate means it will gradually become “car-free”: while existing and disabled residents will be eligible to park in 83 spaces on the estate or on surrounding streets, future residents will not be allowed parking permits.

A wind microclimate assessment notes that, although most of the estate will have “appropriate wind conditions” thanks to landscaping, part of the public through-route will be “ windier than suitable, with winds exceeding the safety criteria”.