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WALTHAMSTOW: Homes plan "breaks policy"
A LARGE housing development which goes against current policies on the density of new schemes will be considered by councillors next week.
Officers have recommended that an application to build 562 homes in blocks up to seven-storeys high on industrial land off Billet Road, Walthamstow, should be approved to address a shortage of affordable properties.
Hadley Homes also want to include four shops, business space and community facilities - including a health centre - on land at the Billet Works, Kimberley Industrial Estate and former Tyco building in Higham Hill.
The density of the development exceeds policies adopted by the council. The inclusion of retail spaces is also contrary to a strategy to protect existing businesses in the area.
The scale and height of the development will have “significant impact” on the surrounding area, according to council planners who accept that the developers have pushed the amount of homes they can build on the site to the limit.
Planning documents state: “The density, height and scale of some parts of the scheme are challenging.”
Hadley Homes must contribute £2.5 million to local, off-site infrastructure as a condition of planning approval.
Existing businesses on the site employ 152 people, according to the latest figures, but planning documents do not reveal whether firms have been relocated.
Residents have raised a number of concerns about the development, including its density, increased traffic and security.
The Metropolitan Police’s Crime Prevention and Design Advisor is said to have “serious misgivings regarding the safety, security and sustainability of the proposed 361-space basement car park".
The advisor also has “concerns with regard to community cohesion, given the mix of residential properties (with a high proportion of one and two bedroom properties)”, and adds that there are “unlikely to be sufficient numbers of families to offer the effective levels of activity, natural surveillance and ownership during the day”.
The council has rejected calls by Kimberley Road residents for a public meeting on the development.
The primary care trust also says it does not plan to occupy the space earmarked for a health centre.
The application will be considered by the Planning Commitee on Tuesday (April 13).
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