40 of the homes on Priory Court Estate have been earmarked for low-cost social rent or shared ownership, reports Josh Mellor, Local Democracy Reporter
Plans to squeeze 83 new flats onto a Walthamstow council estate have been approved.
On Tuesday (4th July), Waltham Forest Council’s planning committee green lit plans to add “in-fill” the Priory Court Estate submitted by council-run house building company Sixty Bricks.
The estate, which already contains 190 flats, will see three new blocks built on car parks and open spaces.
Without any debate or questions, the committee’s Labour and Conservative members approved the plans following a short presentation.
Presenting planning officer Pedro Rizo advised the committee to approve the plans, saying they will “maximise site capacity” without causing any “major” loss of light to existing homes.
He also argued the new homes would help create “passive surveillance” to address anti-social behaviour issues on the estate.
A gang associated with the estate, the Higham Hill or Priory Court Boys, has been involved in a number of murders and violent clashes with groups from other parts of the borough.
Two of the blocks will be built on car parks on the estate and one will be built on green space and games court next to the community centre.
However, a new larger multi-use games area, staff hut, outdoor gym and children’s play area will replace the existing play area.
Despite being built on council-owned land, just over half of the 83 flats will be sold on the private market, with the remaining 40 split between low-cost social rent and shared ownership. As it is owned by the council, Sixty Bricks is exclusively building homes in Waltham Forest.
The share of affordable housing meets the council and Mayor of London’s targets for affordable housing, however, a report commissioned by Sixty Bricks looking at whether more affordable housing could be included has not been made public.
Committee chair Jenny Gray said she was pleased the “really good” scheme, which has been considered by the council for at least five years, was “over the line”.
A 2019 proposal for 120 new flats saw almost 800 residents sign a petition to Sadiq Khan and Stella Creasy MP expressing “deep concerns” about the potential for four large new blocks.
None of the new flats will have a right to a parking space on the estate and the council hopes to enforce this by imposing parking restrictions on all residents.
To make up for the lack of parking and limited public transport available to residents, with the nearest train stations about one mile away, the new flats will have 170 secure cycle parking spaces.
Sixty Bricks will also pay £120,000 towards walking and cycling infrastructure such as traffic calming measures, alongside cycle school sessions and regular bike maintenance sessions for the first two years.
To reduce the risk to human health from metals, hydrocarbons and asbestos found in early testing of the ground, Sixty Bricks will also need to carry out more detailed investigations and cover contaminated soil before construction can begin.
Priory Court is the first development in Sixty Bricks’ second phase of housebuilding.
In its first phase, it built about 300 homes in the borough, two-thirds of which are classed as affordable.
For more details about the application, search planning reference 230851 on the council website and read the planning report via this link.
To share your views about the development, contact: [email protected]