The ground has been officially broken on the site of a station project which will be ‘the key’ to unlocking economic growth, housing development and better transport in Waltham Forest.

After three decades of closure Lea Bridge Station will be back and bustling with passengers in Spring 2016, now that works have begun on the £15m project to bring it back into us.

Thirty-minute bus journeys will be slashed from 30 minutes to just five on the train to reach Stratford which has connections to the rest of the city.

“Today is a significant day for Waltham Forest,” Council leader Chris Robbins said.

“It was our decision, as a borough, to realise a dream that had been sat on the table for many, many years.

“It took a few discussions to realise the extent and the enormity of this project that we were taking on.

This is a key for us and it is going to unlock the Argall Estate for future development. This is a passenger route into Stratford and Tottenham and as far out as Cambridge, but it is much more than that, it is a line which will being people, houses and jobs into our borough.”

The council leader revealed that ‘within days’ of the announcement about bring the station back to life, developers approached the council looking to be first in line to build in the area.

Councillor Robbins also added there could be as many as 1,000 new homes built around the station.

The project has been funded by a mixture of council capital funding and section 106 money from the Olympic Games held in 2012.

For being a host borough Waltham Forest was awarded £5.5m.

When the station opens it is expected to be used by 500,000 people annually.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has also contributed £1.1m and has praised the council for their efforts.

“Transport Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon said: “Lea Bridge Station is a great example of how our record investment in the railway is providing better journeys and boosting local economies.

“Transport improvement is always a challenge, and often projects do not come into fruition because they do not have the right people behind them.

“This is going to be great for the area in terms of economy and housing development.”

The work is currently in ‘week 15’ and the building aspect will begin soon.

Eight carriage trains will be used on the line which will be used by Abellio Greater Anglia trains when it opens.

A disability ramp will be built along the access route which is being constructed from the Argall Way footpath.

Councillor Robbins said benefits of the project will include connection to the mini Holland scheme, expansion opportunities for three nearby industrial estates to expand due to their proximity to rail, and the expansion of house building opportunities.

It will also make commuters’ lives much easier, he claims.

The station will be opened in Spring 2016.