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Residents concerned about Waltham Forest's 'low quality housing in areas with highest crime, antisocial behaviour and welfare dependency'
Housing plans concentrating on areas with the most crime, antisocial behaviour and welfare dependency will lead to “designer slums”, residents claim.
Theey say over 11,000 new homes will be built where transport, education and health infrastructure are already “overstressed”.
Waltham Forest Council acknowledged that most development will take place in densely populated areas, but claimed this was largely due to the borough’s character and existing land uses, and said new people moving to Waltham Forest stimulate regeneration.
David Gardiner who lives in Elmsdale Road, Walthamstow, said he fears the new housing will worsen the situation.
“You’ll have huge blocks of housing with kids who can’t get out and you’re bound to have more crime,” the 66-year-old retired teacher said.
“It’ll just be a designer slum.”
Speaking on behalf of a group of around 10 residents who met with council officers this week Mr Gardiner said they fear the housing, which is comprised mainly of low-quality medium-rise flats with minimal amenities, will resemble the “ill-fated” high-rise experiments of the 1960s.
Nearly all development will take place on brownfield sites south of the North Circular, they say.
“There’s no reason why you couldn’t have more housing in Chingford, there’s lots of open spaces and access to Epping Forest,” Mr Gardiner added.
The council says Chingford has less development opportunities than other parts of the borough, but urged residents to notify the authority of potential improvement sites.
National planning policies limit local authority powers and housing targets are set by the Mayor’s office.
Currently Waltham Forest’s target is 760 new homes per year.
A council spokesman said: “New homes and people moving into the area is good for Waltham Forest and plays a key role in stimulating the regeneration of areas such as Walthamstow Town Centre and Leyton. Developer contributions (in the form of Section 106 Agreements) also help provide essential infrastructure such as schools, health facilities and highway improvements.”
The residents, who hope to become a formal group and hold larger meetings, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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