Waltham Forest Echo

Waltham Forest Echo

Mammoth investment company takes over Mall towers development

Work on the project is finally set to start in the coming weeks

Hero for Mammoth investment company takes over Mall towers development
An artist's impression of the planned Mall flats
By Victoria Munro 11 July 2022

A mammoth investment company that owns hundreds of thousands of UK properties has taken over plans to build almost 500 homes on The Mall site in Walthamstow.A mammoth investment company that owns hundreds of thousands of UK properties has taken over plans to build almost 500 homes on The Mall site in Walthamstow.

Long Harbour, run by William Waldorf Astor IV, spent more than £21million buying the ongoing project to build two 34 and 26-storey flat blocks from original developer Capital & Regional.Long Harbour, run by William Waldorf Astor IV, spent more than £21million buying the ongoing project to build two 34 and 26-storey flat blocks from original developer Capital & Regional.

Capital & Regional, who own the neighbouring shopping centre now known as 17&Central, won planning permission last January but were unable to get construction work started.Capital & Regional, who own the neighbouring shopping centre now known as 17&Central, won planning permission last January but were unable to get construction work started.

Long Harbour told the Echo today that work will begin imminently now they have taken over, with hoardings going up around the site later this month and in the first few days of August.Long Harbour told the Echo today that work will begin imminently now they have taken over, with hoardings going up around the site later this month and in the first few days of August.

The planned scheme will contain 495 one and two-bedroom flats, of which only 99 will be rented at “affordable” levels, although the company will build additional affordable homes off-site.The planned scheme will contain 495 one and two-bedroom flats, of which only 99 will be rented at “affordable” levels, although the company will build additional affordable homes off-site.

(Credit:ESA Architects)(Credit:ESA Architects)

Long Harbour chief operating officer James Aumonier said the new flats “will not only offer a totally unique experience for residents in a highly popular location, but also contribute to the transformation of the town centre”. Long Harbour chief operating officer James Aumonier said the new flats “will not only offer a totally unique experience for residents in a highly popular location, but also contribute to the transformation of the town centre”. 

He added: “Residents will benefit from direct access to Walthamstow Central Station, providing fast connections to Central London via the Victoria line, while new homes and retail will complement each other to create a vibrant new town centre with significantly improved public realm. He added: “Residents will benefit from direct access to Walthamstow Central Station, providing fast connections to Central London via the Victoria line, while new homes and retail will complement each other to create a vibrant new town centre with significantly improved public realm. 

“This is an excellent example of how build to rent development can enhance footfall and diversify uses in town centres.”“This is an excellent example of how build to rent development can enhance footfall and diversify uses in town centres.”

In 2017, the company’s aristocratic CEO became the face of the UK’s “leasehold scandal”, thanks to a campaign started by a nurse from Cheshire. In 2017, the company’s aristocratic CEO became the face of the UK’s “leasehold scandal”, thanks to a campaign started by a nurse from Cheshire. 

Katie Kendrick started the National Leasehold Campaign (NLC), which aims to end leaseholding in the UK, after discovering Long Harbour had quietly purchased the freehold to her home, trebling the amount it would cost her to buy it.Katie Kendrick started the National Leasehold Campaign (NLC), which aims to end leaseholding in the UK, after discovering Long Harbour had quietly purchased the freehold to her home, trebling the amount it would cost her to buy it.

Lawrence Hutchings, CEO of Capital & Regional said: “We are now in the process of handing over the site to Long Harbour and look forward to them commencing work on the first phase of this exciting project in the coming weeks, bringing much needed new homes to the area.Lawrence Hutchings, CEO of Capital & Regional said: “We are now in the process of handing over the site to Long Harbour and look forward to them commencing work on the first phase of this exciting project in the coming weeks, bringing much needed new homes to the area.

“Having served Walthamstow for over 30 years, the residential development opportunity we have unlocked at 17&Central is an example of what we want to achieve in this respect.  “Having served Walthamstow for over 30 years, the residential development opportunity we have unlocked at 17&Central is an example of what we want to achieve in this respect.  

“It is also a clear demonstration of our commitment to continually invest in this community and town centre to ensure that the local population has what it needs and wants from a thriving town centre.”“It is also a clear demonstration of our commitment to continually invest in this community and town centre to ensure that the local population has what it needs and wants from a thriving town centre.”

Council leader Grace Williams added that she was “delighted” that companies like Long Harbour “want to invest in our town centres and our people”.Council leader Grace Williams added that she was “delighted” that companies like Long Harbour “want to invest in our town centres and our people”.

She said: “When work is complete visitors will be welcomed to Walthamstow town centre with a redesigned town square, incorporating a new children’s play space and community areas, with the potential for a new entrance to Walthamstow Central underground station.”She said: “When work is complete visitors will be welcomed to Walthamstow town centre with a redesigned town square, incorporating a new children’s play space and community areas, with the potential for a new entrance to Walthamstow Central underground station.”

The new station entrance was agreed as part of the original planning application, with Capital & Regional promising to contribute £1.5m towards costs.The new station entrance was agreed as part of the original planning application, with Capital & Regional promising to contribute £1.5m towards costs.

However, the likelihood of it going ahead has been called into question by the ongoing financial issues of TfL, who previously planned to spend £15m on the project.However, the likelihood of it going ahead has been called into question by the ongoing financial issues of TfL, who previously planned to spend £15m on the project.