Lea Bridge Station will be remodelled to make way for tower block, reports Victoria Munro, Local Democracy Reporter
Plans to rebuild the entrance to Lea Bridge Station to make it a “catalyst” for the area’s regeneration have been submitted to Waltham Forest Council.
Developers London Square and One Housing hope to build a new station entrance, without altering the tracks or platforms, on the corner of Lea Bridge Road and Argall Way. Lea Bridge Station was reopened in 2016 having previously been closed for 31 years.
The station will remain open throughout building works. Once complete, the 2016 entrance will be demolished, making space for a new high-rise development – subject to another planning application to come at a later date. Around 300 new homes are expected to be built across three separate council-owned sites on different sides of the Lea Bridge Road and Orient Way junction, eventually creating a new “town centre” for the area.
A planning statement submitted on behalf of the developers claims the new station entrance will “help create a new local centre and instil a sense of place in the area”. It adds: “The existing station is uncovered and exposed, offering no refuge or shelter from the elements as a community asset.
“As the population of the immediate local area is anticipated to grow, the need for a sheltered and more central station entrance will be regarded as a valuable community asset.”
The developers insist the new entrance is “critical to unlocking the redevelopment” of three neighbouring sites, claiming that without the station entrance “there is a significant risk that market interest [in new homes] would be severely reduced”.
The rebuilt station would also have space to store more than 130 bicycles, including some for disabled cyclists. If plans are approved, work will start on the new entrance in July 2022 and is expected to be complete in September 2023.
Claire Weiss, from local campaign group Love Lea Bridge, said: “Lea Bridge residents welcome improvements to public transport infrastructure, but are concerned that this proposal is more to facilitate the building of a tower block and not to improve transport. Considerable public money went into the current station, and the source of money to change it such a short time later is not clear.”
A public consultation event for all three Lea Bridge development sites is taking place on Saturday 2nd December between 11.30am and 3.30 pm at Sybourn Primary School.
Residents can give their views on the application for a new station entrance (reference 202850) before Friday 13th November: