High-rise towers of 18 storeys or more could be on the horizon in Blackhorse Lane as part of Waltham Forest Council’s “masterplan” for the area.
The council is working with the Mayor of London to “intensify” the area’s industrial use in order to boost employment but also plans to add 1,800 homes.
The council’s website notes “industrial land in London has become scarcer in recent years” and hopes this and a similar project focusing on the Lea Bridge area will “protect it across Waltham Forest”.
However, the emerging plan, presented online on September 15, had some attendees concerned future developers would focus more on profitable residential buildings than industrial space.
Attendee Jon Reades said: “It makes sense to intensify Blackhorse Road, my main concern is the worry that there’s money to be made in residential,
“How do we stop developers saying ‘yeah, yeah, yeah, we promise to develop workspace,’ and then developing what isn’t really usable? Or not building spaces that are cheap or very affordable.”
Masterplan project manager Patrick Shannon insisted the regeneration would be “industry first”, rather than “resident first”.
He added: “We’ll be saying to developers, ‘if you want to develop then you need to increase that industrial space on your site’.”
The online workshop also heard from the regeneration’s architectural consultant, Steve Walker, who said: ”There’s some opportunity for tower blocks, but it’s central within the site and south within the site.
“There will definitely be the expectation that any tall buildings that come forward really meet the consultation’s expectations with designs.
“In the north we would keep the industrial use and in the south we’re thinking about how we can combine with other uses.”
The planning team stressed the plan is still in early stages and encouraged more people to join their next session on September 27.