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Arcade site development plans in Walthamstow set to be approved by Waltham Forest Council
A BID to build 121 homes, restaurants and a nine screen cinema on Walthamstow's Arcade site looks set to be approved by councillors next week.
Officers from Waltham Forest Council have recommended that the authority's planning committee grant planning permission for the scheme when they meet on January 8.
The site, on the corner of Hoe Street and High Street, has been derelict for nearly a decade following repeated failed attempts to develop the land.
The latest proposals have been drawn up by Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association (ISHA), while a deal has been signed with independent chain Empire to run the cinema.
The documents for the planning meeting reveal that 50 of the homes will be “affordable”, subject to a viability assessment, and that the scheme will comprise several buildings between two and six storeys tall.
In addition, the council has asked ISHA to contribute a number of Section 106 community grants to compensate for the impact the development will have on public services in Waltham Forest.
This includes £121,000 towards healthcare, £312,000 for education and £416,000 for tree planting, highway improvement works, air quality monitoring and public art.
The cinema plans include provision for 1,200 seats and for it to open until 1am on weekdays and 3am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Public bodies such as the Greater London Authority have said they are satisfied with the plans but some residents have raised concerns.
A total of 1,800 consultation letters were sent out but not every household in the vicinity was included.
For example, the council report claims “all” houses in Byron Road were consulted, but also states that only houses numbered 1 to 40 were sent letters, even though the road has more than 80 properties.
Of the 51 responses received, the impact of the scheme on nearby homes was cited as a concern, along with parking.
The development will not have any parking spaces and occupants will be banned from applying for Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) permits.
But some residents fear households will simply park in nearby streets instead, and fear parking from cinema-goers could exacerbate such problems.
Others respondents welcomed the plans and said it would help regenerate Walthamstow.
The council report recommends the plans be approved because it “represents a significant major regeneration site and opportunity not only for the area but for the borough as a whole.”
It adds: “The development would provide a major catalyst for further investment in Walthamstow”.
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