New houses plan would leave only Blue Badge parking spaces on Chingford estate

A housing provider hopes to build a block of 21 affordable homes on the car park of a Chingford estate.

Heathcote Grove Estate, home to 44 households, is owned by L&Q, which has partnered with Waltham Forest Housing Association (WFHA) to develop the new homes.

The new flats will be for people on Waltham Forest Council’s housing waiting list, with a quarter reserved for key workers, although the ‘London Affordable Rent’ homes will be more expensive to rent than those on the existing estate.

The only parking that will remain on the site will be for Blue Badge holders, meaning estate tenants may have to park on the street, currently a non-controlled parking zone.

An L&Q spokesperson admitted this had already been raised as a point of concern by several residents but said: “It’s just a question of do we want parking or do we want additional social housing.

“We looked at other applications in the area, which would all provide luxury flats, and they all suggest omitting parking.“

On its website, a WFHA spokesperson wrote that providing housing is their “utmost priority”, noting that “unfortunately… [this] puts pressure on the availability of space for car parking.”

WFHA and L&Q have assessed “potential opportunities to alleviate [parking issues] for existing tenants”, such as the “possibility of a car club scheme”.

They said: “As an independent housing association, this piece of land is our only opportunity to provide additional homes in Waltham Forest.

“We examined several different design ideas, and our main objective was to avoid a development that created an environment that was too dense at Heathcote Grove.

“We believe that our proposal of 21 new homes is manageable for the land at this site and provides a good balance in terms of delivering much needed homes for families who need them, as well as improvements to the existing land for current tenants.”

The improvements offered to current residents include a new play space, bin storage, and improvements to the landscaping and amenity space.

The flats will be rented at London Affordable Rent levels, which are broadly similar to social rent, although the WFHA website notes it is higher than what estate tenants pay.

WFHA and L&Q expect to submit an application to the council in autumn and, if accepted, hope to have the new homes built by the end of 2023.

Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter