Waltham Forest Echo

Waltham Forest Echo

Towers of up to 38 storeys proposed in Blackhorse Lane

The proposals currently involve up to 1,800 new homes on the site

Hero for Towers of up to 38 storeys proposed in Blackhorse Lane
An illustration of the industrial area of the redevelopment (Credit: NEAT)

Tower blocks of up to 38 storeys could soon appear in Walthamstow as part of the regeneration of Blackhorse Lane.Tower blocks of up to 38 storeys could soon appear in Walthamstow as part of the regeneration of Blackhorse Lane.

Uplands Business Park, an 11-acre site in the centre of the industrial area, was recently bought by BlackRock - the world's largest investment manager - for a reported sum of £51million.Uplands Business Park, an 11-acre site in the centre of the industrial area, was recently bought by BlackRock - the world's largest investment manager - for a reported sum of £51million.

BlackRock are now working with housing developer NEAT on plans to build up to 1,800 new homes on the site, as well as industrial and employment spaces. BlackRock are now working with housing developer NEAT on plans to build up to 1,800 new homes on the site, as well as industrial and employment spaces. 

The proposed skyline from Lockwood Reservoir looking north east (Credit: Waltham Forest Council)The proposed skyline from Lockwood Reservoir looking north east (Credit: Waltham Forest Council)

Draft plans, presented to residents for consultation, show a line of eight tall tower blocks, ranging from 27 to 38 storeys, alongside several mid and low-rise buildings.Draft plans, presented to residents for consultation, show a line of eight tall tower blocks, ranging from 27 to 38 storeys, alongside several mid and low-rise buildings.

The area's current tallest flat block, which was approved in 2018, is 21 storeys high.The area's current tallest flat block, which was approved in 2018, is 21 storeys high.

Existing industrial buildings would be demolished to open up a new park space, dubbed “Wetlands Waterside”, that would face Dagenham Brook and the reservoirs.Existing industrial buildings would be demolished to open up a new park space, dubbed “Wetlands Waterside”, that would face Dagenham Brook and the reservoirs.

The council’s local plan, which shapes new developments including at Blackhorse Lane, is currently being considered by a planning inspector before final approval.The council’s local plan, which shapes new developments including at Blackhorse Lane, is currently being considered by a planning inspector before final approval.

"Wetlands Waterside" (Credit: NEAT)"Wetlands Waterside" (Credit: NEAT)

In the draft local plan, Blackhorse Lane is earmarked as an area with opportunities “to significantly increase height” and provide a “wayfinding landmark”.In the draft local plan, Blackhorse Lane is earmarked as an area with opportunities “to significantly increase height” and provide a “wayfinding landmark”.

However, a skyline study in the draft plan recommends building heights ranging from 18-27 storeys, lower than the proposals published by NEAT.However, a skyline study in the draft plan recommends building heights ranging from 18-27 storeys, lower than the proposals published by NEAT.

The skyline study adds: “Well-considered height and spaces between buildings will help reduce the ecological impact and improve the visual impact from across the wetlands.The skyline study adds: “Well-considered height and spaces between buildings will help reduce the ecological impact and improve the visual impact from across the wetlands.

“Redevelopment of the site must avoid harmful overshadowing that would compromise the comfort and enjoyment of surrounding public open space, private or communal outdoor spaces and private amenity of any neighbouring properties.”“Redevelopment of the site must avoid harmful overshadowing that would compromise the comfort and enjoyment of surrounding public open space, private or communal outdoor spaces and private amenity of any neighbouring properties.”

According to NEAT’s website, the developer wants to “capitalise on the emerging creative sector” by building an industrial-led development.According to NEAT’s website, the developer wants to “capitalise on the emerging creative sector” by building an industrial-led development.

Despite the strategic importance of protecting London’s dwindling industrial space, a draft masterplan also being developed for Blackhorse Lane sees a significant portion of the land being used for living or shopping.Despite the strategic importance of protecting London’s dwindling industrial space, a draft masterplan also being developed for Blackhorse Lane sees a significant portion of the land being used for living or shopping.

On its website, the council says industrial needs will be “protected through good design” and new homes “should be seen as a positive benefit” because they will fund the area's modernisation.On its website, the council says industrial needs will be “protected through good design” and new homes “should be seen as a positive benefit” because they will fund the area's modernisation.

To find out more about the plan for Uplands Business Park, visit: https://futureofuplands.com/To find out more about the plan for Uplands Business Park, visit: https://futureofuplands.com/