Waltham Forest Echo

Waltham Forest Echo

Developer set to reopen The Standard folds

A developer set to reopen an iconic Walthamstow music venue and building hundreds of flats has gone into administration Last December, The Collective was [...]

Hero for Developer set to reopen The Standard folds
How the new music venue and flats in Blackhorse Lane was supposed to look
By Waltham Forest Echo 20 September 2021

A developer set to reopen an iconic Walthamstow music venue and building hundreds of flats has gone into administration

Last December, The Collective was given planning permission to build 300 flats and open a new venue on the site of The Standard in Blackhorse Lane, which shuttered after 25 years in 2011.

At the planning meeting, some councillors raised concerns that the flats, some of which would be just 16 square metres, were too small to be “acceptable as homes”.

Construction was intended to begin this summer, with the intention of opening the building and 350-capacity venue by 2023.

Responding to the news, a Hackney resident said: “Relieved this scheme also won’t be going ahead in Walthamstow, but really hope the replacement development will still have a music venue for the Standard. Also bring back the plan for a Turkish Food Company.”

The Turkish Food Centre, who previously owned the building, were given planning permission in 2017 to redevelop the site, creating a bar, supermarket and just 50 new flats, but the plan never materialised.

In December, when The Collective’s scheme was approved, committee member Marie Pye said: “I’m concerned about the size of these units, there’s potential for this to become a 300-plus house of multiple occupancy (HMO).”

Conservative councillor John Moss agreed, adding: “I don’t think it will be a 300-plus HMO, I think it will be a hostel used by visitors or people who live elsewhere and commute to work.

“I would ask what’s the benefit to our borough? We are getting less than a tenth of the affordable housing that we would have been getting from the previous scheme. I agree with the restoration of the iconic venue that used to be here but that does come with it’s own problems as well.”

Councillors were told The Collective “accepted that the internal living space of each room is limited but was mostly focusing on the quality of the communal space”. The kitchenettes in each room would have hobs, combi-oven, microwave, cupboard and sink and, overall, there would be “more than two hobs per resident”.

Committee chairperson Jenny Gray spoke in support of the development, noting she had seen applications to reopen The Standard “for many years now”. She said: “When we finally gave permission [to the previous owners] years ago, local people were really excited about it.

“You can’t have an iconic music venue without anything to pay for it, it’s obviously not sustainable on it’s own or someone would have reopened it. I know [co-living] is an unusual model but it has worked in other local authorities and it’s probably a similar standard to student accommodation.”