Waltham Forest Council has granted the retail investment company, Capital & Regional, planning permission to redevelop the Mall shopping centre in Walthamstow.
The application had been recommended for approval by officers and was given the go-ahead by councillors at a planning meeting in the Town Hall Assembly Rooms on Wednesday 13 December.
To proceed, the project now requires the GLA to give their final approval and successful completion of a Section 106 agreement. (See ‘Notes for Editors’ below.)
The application was in two parts. Full planning permission was granted for expansion of the shopping centre to create new retail and restaurant outlets overlooking a refurbished and fully accessible town square with a new children’s play area plus 42 new homes. Outline permission was granted for up to 460 more homes to be constructed above the shopping centre in four residential buildings of between 12 and 29 storeys. The detail of their design will be reported back to Planning Committee once Capital & Regional have formally confirmed a development partner. They are currently in discussions with the developer, Mount Anvil, as their preferred partner.
Overall, the development has the potential to provide as many as 502 new homes, 20 per cent of which will be affordable and available through shared ownership. Although this is below the 50 per cent minimum guideline set out by the Mayor of London’s London Plan, the council accepted the difficulties of building above both an operational shopping centre and the Victoria Line tunnels would incur much higher than normal development and construction costs.
Once completed, the redeveloped Mall in Selborne Road is expected to deliver a destination shopping venue with a range of restaurant and leisure facilities to stimulate further growth and prosperity in the town centre. The new town square will be a community space for cultural events, displays and installations and improving the look and feel of this flagship part of Walthamstow could help attract key high street retail and restaurant chains. It’s estimated the completed Mall could provide up to 350 new retail jobs for local people with significant jobs also created during construction.
Construction of the scheme will also ensure TfL can upgrade Walthamstow Central Station in the future - partly funded by a £1.5m contribution from Capital & Regional.
Councillor Jenny Gray, Chair of Waltham Forest Planning Committee:
“This planning application has attracted a great deal of interest and raised understandable concerns but everyone can be assured our committee examined the proposals in great detail to ensure we reached the right decision.
“We concluded the scheme’s many public benefits outweigh any local impacts but our approval of the plans depends on Capital & Regional meeting clear and cast-iron conditions to ensure the new Mall is a success for everyone.”
Cllr Simon Miller, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and High Streets, said:
“The Area Action Plan, agreed by the Council in 2015, recognises the need for improved shopping facilities in Walthamstow and Capital & Regional’s proposals will deliver these and a lot more besides.
“The ‘destination’ shopping venue, restaurants, bars and leisure facilities will all attract visitors and further investment into the borough, boosting our local economy and ensuring the new Mall becomes the new, improved, heart of Walthamstow.”