WALTHAMSTOW: Call for rethink on station development plans (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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WALTHAMSTOW: Call for rethink on station development plans
2:08pm Monday 18th October 2010 in News
AN influential community organisation has thrown its weight behind a campaign opposing a controversial development next to Walthamstow Central station.
Waltham Forest Civic Society has joined residents’ groups in criticising a £15 million scheme in the station’s car park, which includes a 12-storey block of flats, a hotel and five new shops.
The society says the proposed development is not in keeping with the area, will damage the environment for those living nearby and will fail to provide long term benefits for the community.
In a detailed, and often cutting, objection to a proposal by Solum Regeneration, planning watch convener Adrian Stannard rubbishes numerous claims made by the developer.
The application says the scheme will “create a vibrant new place and provide a landmark development forming an environmental and economic gateway to the town centre”.
“That is exactly what we want but this scheme fails entirely to achieve this,” Mr Stannard responds.
Solum claims that the current car park “lacks activity, character landscape and ecology”
But Mr Stannard asserts: “The new scheme can hardly brag of landscaping as it is so dense there is little room for anything but a few trees."
Solum says there is “no dominant architectural style” in the area, which is dominated by Victorian terraced housing.
“Clearly the architect must have popped up on the Tube with his eyes closed,” Mr Stannard says.
Solum insists the listed station building requires "respectful treatment", but Mr Stannard is not impressed.
He says: “Leaving the minimum of space between the new buildings and the station shows no respect for the elegance of the station building and even worse swamps the station so that it becomes insignificant, surrounded by the vast blocks.”
Regarding the design of the scheme, rather than the “stack of quality luggage” described by the developer, Mr Stannard says the proposal will create “storage boxes for people”.
The Civic Society echoes concerns of residents living in nearby streets, who say the development is too high and will overshadow properties.
The objection concludes: “We urge (planners) to reject his scheme and demand that a more sympathetic one is developed which would encourage a sustainable community and keep the hotel residents in Walthamstow to enjoy a night time economy.”
Solum, which is a partnership between Kier Property and Network Rail, maintains the scheme will “vastly improve” the area.
A spokesman said: "The proposals provide an important opportunity to revitalise a central town centre location, provide a quality place in which to live, work and visit that will support local jobs, strengthen the town centre and deliver an economic investment."
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