Regeneration: Markhouse Corner, Lea Bridge

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Alert

What is happening?

There are a number of projects taking place or planned for the Markhouse Corner area.

How you are involved in the proposals

In March 2018, representatives of local businesses, residents and community and faith groups met to discuss how together we could address the key issues of the area and develop potential improvements.  

On Tuesday 14 August 2018 a second workshop was held to feedback on the issues raised in the first workshop, and to further discuss ideas to improve the area.

Some interesting project suggestions have been made, but as the budget is limited, projects will have to be prioritised. Therefore in the second workshop it was agreed to consult on the initial ideas with a wider public both to see how well or not they were supported and to get a sense of the priorities. 

Consultations

Between Monday 15 October and Sunday 18 November 2018 residents were invited to have their say about proposals to improve Markhouse Corner where it joins Lea Bridge Road and Church Road. The proposals came from the earlier workshops with residents, businesses and other stakeholders.

The consultation included an opportunity for online feedback and two drop-in sessions at the junction of Markhouse Lane with Lea Bridge Road and Church Road, where residents could see the proposals and discuss them with officers from the Project Team.

Six project suggestions were made:

  • shopfront improvements
  • business support advice and training 
  • Markhouse Corner marketing campaign 
  • local survey
  • murals 
  • lighting installation

The results are based on: 

  • completed survey forms from the on-site consultations on Thursday 25 and Saturday 27 November
  • completed survey forms from the online survey from Monday 15 October to Sunday 18 November 2018
  • key points from email correspondence
  • notes taken from conversations and workshops. 

Altogether 180 people took part in the online survey or spoke to us in person at the Markhouse Corner junction during two on-site consultations. 

The majority (82%) of people who answered the survey live around the Markhouse Corner area, with only 5 % working in the area. 41% of the respondents visit Markhouse Corner every day, with additional 30% visiting the area a few times a week. 

Overall, the response was very positive with fairly consisted support for each project suggestion but if prioritised (in the project ranking) shopfronts came out on top.

Next steps:

We feel that with only 5% of participants working in the area, there is more feedback from businesses required.
As shopfronts was ranked as priority, as a next step we’re going to talk to businesses to find out if they agree and would like to participate.

The Council is going to commission a consultant to continue engaging with businesses, and working with them to improve their product offer, shop windows etc. If businesses are willing to make changes and improve their business, the Council may offer a small grant for shopfront improvements.

We’ve also started some initial feasibility work on a possible lighting installation and/or a mural including how additional funding could be raised to support these.
The Council is trying to contact freeholders to explore the options of murals at key buildings fronting the junction, but so far no response has been received.

The Council is also exploring the option of Colourful Crossings at Markhouse Corner. The idea is to create a calmer, more pedestrian friendly space that different users can share, experience and enjoy, highlighting the future plans to reduce car dominance.
The project could encompass colour and patterned treatments to road and pavement surfaces to encourage pedestrians to engage with their environment, create a stronger connection between opposite pavements and help to overcome the dominance of the roads – and give a special identity to Markhouse Corner. Ideas would be worked up with local residents, community groups and businesses.

Lighting at the junction has been upgraded to white lighting which will improve the lock and feeling of safety – something that both residents and businesses wanted.

Other projects in the area include:

Enjoy Waltham Forest

The Enjoy Waltham Forest improvement work finished in May 2019. More information about the Lea Bridge Scheme is available here.

Lea Bridge Library

Lea Bridge Library is set for major improvements as part of an £800,000 investment in the Grade II Listed building.

The project is being part-funded by a £410,300 grant from the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund, which helps fund projects in the capital that enable local people to take an active role in improving their communities.

The grant will help pay for a new conservatory café, exhibition space and children’s play area for visitors to enjoy.

New flexible indoor and outdoor spaces that can be adapted to host a range of community activities will transform the building and create a focal point for the Lea Bridge area.

Residents and library users will be engaged in developing the final plans

Keeping you informed

An email newsletter is being used to keep people informed of what is happening in the Markhouse Corner area, including proposals for Lea Bridge Library and the Friendship Garden. Please sign up here if you wish to receive these and our Lea Bridge and Leyton newsletters.

More information is available from:

  • Waltham Forest Council’s Regeneration Project Manager, Britta Stoehr
  • Waltham Forest Council’s Stakeholder Relations and Community Engagement Manager, Keith Brown.