New owner of Walthamstow Village homes wants to knock them down for flat block

The council hurriedly sold both homes, which have been empty since 2014, last year

By Victoria Munro

The empty homes in Orford Road (credit: VG ARCA Designs)

The new owner of two Walthamstow Village homes sold by the council last year wants to knock them down and build a block of flats.

In April last year, Waltham Forest Council leaders made an “urgent decision” to approve selling two semi-detached homes in Orford Road, opposite The Village Pub.

The buildings have been empty since 2014 and are in poor repair, meaning a previous plan to hand them over to council-owned developer Sixty Bricks was abandoned for cost reasons.

It was necessary to urgently approve the sale because it was discovered the buildings had been sold months prior without approval due to an “administrative oversight”.

A kitchen in one of the properties (credit: VG ARCA Designs)

The buildings’ new owner, Ali Ucur, has now applied for planning permission to knock the buildings down and build a block of eight flats in their place.

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On a Walthamstow Village Facebook page, local Labour councillor Miriam Mirwitch sought to reassure residents that she and her fellow ward councillors would object to the plans.

She wrote: “As local councillors, we are strongly minded to oppose the application as it looks to be unsuitable. This planning application has not been submitted by the council[… it] has been submitted by a private person, and the planning department is yet to determine the application.

Plans for the proposed block (credit: VG ARCA Designs)

“We will be writing to the planning department, asking officers to refer the application to the planning committee if they are minded to approve. By referring to the planning committee, the consultation period will be extended, allowing residents to make comments over a longer period.”

The houses are located in the Walthamstow Village conservation area, which limits the kind of building work that can be done on the site.

However, a document submitted to the council in support of the plan states Waltham Forest should “recognise[…] that local character evolves over time and will need to change in appropriate locations to accommodate additional housing provision”.

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