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Plans to demolish part of The Mall in Walthamstow and build two enormous apartment blocks of more than 500 homes have been re-submitted to the council.
The £200 million redevelopment was approved in 2018 but, after consulting with residents, owner Capital & Regional has submitted a new plan with several changes.
Changes include raising the number of flats from 502 to 538, of which the vast majority will be for renting and 43 will be for private sale.
The project will also improve the nearby Walthamstow Central Tube station, partially funded by £15 million from Transport for London, to provide a step-free entrance.
If approved, building work is planned to begin next year. Both The Mall and the Tube station are expected to remain open throughout.
Cllr Simon Miller, responsible for economic growth and housing development, said the redevelopment was “an exciting project at the heart of our borough”.
He added: “Key parts of the scheme include new retail units which will create more jobs for local people and provision of a new entrance to ease congestion at Walthamstow Central Underground Station.”
However, many residents responding to the plans raised concerns about the height of the towers, which will be 34 storeys and 27 storeys high.
One resident said: “The height of the high-rise blocks is totally out of keeping with the Victorian and Edwardian development of Walthamstow and will spoil the unique ambience which attracts people to this borough.”
Another remarked: “The towers are way way too tall. Why do we need such invasively tall buildings in the centre of Walthamstow?”
Others argued 30 per cent affordable housing, increased from the original plan for 20 per cent, was insufficient, questioning whether they will be “genuinely affordable” for local people.
First priority for all affordable homes will go to borough residents, while Capital & Regional will provide £7.3 million funding to build homes for rent elsewhere in Walthamstow.
Another key concern for many, and the focus of the Save Our Square campaign, is protecting an avenue of Lime trees more than a century old.
All but four of these Lime trees are preserved in the new plans, although more than 50 trees overall will be removed. The council promises to plant five elsewhere for every tree removed.
In addition to extra housing, the redevelopment will add 8,000 square metres of retail space to the Mall, in an attempt to compete with Westfield Stratford and create 350 jobs.
However, it is proposed that 100 car parking spaces are removed from the Mall, with only 25 accessible spaces provided for the new homes.
Residents can give their views on the new plans by emailing: [email protected] quoting reference number 202491, until December 23.