Waltham Forest Echo

Waltham Forest Echo

Youth club and mental health service among sites set to become homes

A Government funding announcement has revealed a number of sites the council hopes to see redeveloped as housing

Hero for Youth club and mental health service among sites set to become homes
The Outset Centre in Grange Road (credit: Project Zero)
By Victoria Munro 29 October 2021

A Walthamstow youth club and a mental health service are among nine sites the council plans to redevelop into housing, a recent funding announcement reveals.

Earlier this month, Waltham Forest Council was awarded more than £3million in Government funding to go towards nine future housing developments on brownfield land.

The money from the Brownfield Land Release Fund (BLRF) adds up to £3,372,320 and will be used for “pre-construction enabling works” to make the sites suitable to build on.

While more than £1m was given to the Lea Bridge Station regeneration, the list of eight other sites reveals four buildings offering public services are set to become new homes.

These include the Outset Centre, which is currently home to a youth club run by Project Zero, and the Ferguson Centre, currently an NHS-run mental health service.

The council’s cabinet member for housing, Simon Miller, said the funding was a “fantastic opportunity” for the council and will help “pivotal projects” come to fruition.

He said: “This funding will contribute to… delivering housing schemes with various community benefits, such as 50% affordable housing, increased jobs and apprenticeships for local people and revitalised neighbourhoods for the community.”

The nine sites awarded funding are: Lea Bridge Station, Chingford Hub, Rowan House, Russell Road, Cedarwood House, Erskine Road Car Park, Osbourne Grove, the Outset Centre and the Ferguson Centre. 

Rowan House is currently the location of the council’s Youth Offending Service, which the council plans to move to a disused adult learning centre only a short walk away.

Cedarwood House is home to the Housing Service, due to move into the new Families and Homes Hub being built where the old Wood Street Library once stood.

The Lea Bridge Station regeneration will see more than 300 flats built on three sites around the station, one of which is home to the Orient Way Pocket Park.

The plans have proved controversial to those who love the park, who in late September promised personal protection to each of its 122 trees. 

The Chingford Hub development is also unpopular among some residents, who feel replacing the Chingford Library and Assembly Hall with a five-storey block will ruin the area’s “quaint, semi-rural” character.

None of the developments have yet received planning permission and some do not have a formal planning application submitted.