19,000 news homes planned for Waltham Forest in draft local plan

Waltham Forest Council aims to see at least 19,000 new homes built in the borough over the next 15 years.

The council’s latest draft local plan, published last month, details more than 60 sites across the borough where homes could be built.

The number of homes at each site ranges from just eight homes on Brandon Road car park in Walthamstow to 3,000 homes at New Spitalfields Market.

This interactive map shows every site earmarked for housing development in the next 15 years and how many homes are expected at each one.

The draft plan was approved at a cabinet meeting on October 8 and the council will now consult with residents before submitting the finished plan to the Government.

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Simon Miller (Lab, Leyton), responsible for housing development, said the plan was “one of the best local plans in the country” and also “one of the greenest”.

He said the consultation process prior to the publication of allocated sites was “the most involved, lengthy, extensive and inclusive of any local plan consultation undertaken in the UK”.

He added that the new planning policy framework created as part of the plan would also give the council “a robust defence” against “unscrupulous property developers”.

Projects in the plan will not automatically receive planning permission, noted Cllr Miller in his written introduction to the document, and plans “will be considered on their individual merits”.

He added that, in cases where the site is already being used for something other than housing, this “does not necessarily imply that the existing use would be lost”.

The following developments are the biggest planned for the borough in the next 15 years.

Each one will create more than 1,000 new homes in the borough.

New Spitalfields Market

The council expects at least 3,000 new homes will be built on Leyton’s New Spitalfields Market after it moves to Dagenham in 2026.

The market is the largest in the UK selling fruits, vegetables and flowers and has occupied the site since the early 1990s.

The City of London Corporation, which owns the market, feels the site “does not meet the needs of a modern market”.

Leyton Mills Retail Park

The council hopes to see at least 2,000 homes on the site, of which 35 per cent should be affordable.

It is expected that 47,200 square metres will remain “non-residential floor space” and that a new school will be built on the site.

The council also expects public transport improvements to Leyton Tube Station, Leyton District Centre and a potential new station at Ruckholt Road.

Whipps Cross Hospital

The NHS trust that runs Whipps Cross Hospital in Leytonstone plans to rebuild the hospital after receiving a significant cash injection from the Government.

By reducing the size of the current “sprawling” site, the trust will make room for around 1,500 homes, half of which will be affordable, to contribute towards the cost of the rebuild.

The trust’s “best case scenario” is that work will begin on the new site in autumn 2022 and finish by autumn 2026.

Estate Way

The council plans to have 1,430 homes built on the Estate Way industrial site in Leyton, along the Dagenham Brook.

Presentations from last year suggest the original plan was to build just 440 homes on the site.

Plans for the redevelopment also include a replacement waste site and a new nursery.

Bywasters Waste Management Centre

In 2016, the council approved plans to build 730 homes on the waste recycling centre site in Leyton.

However, the new draft plan states it now expects 1,250 homes on the land, next to another planned development of 750 homes on the Score Centre.

The council also expects 4,000sq m of non-residential space, a new Thames Water Storm Water facility and a replacement waste site.


Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter