Waltham Forest council has approved plans to build 183 homes and three retail units at the former Essex Brewery site in Walthamstow.

The local authority’s planning committee gave the green light to the application at a planning meeting yesterday evening (Tuesday, April 12).

Proposals consist a five to seven-storey tower and a four to eight-storey building on the site, in St James Street.

Despite the approval of planning permission, several members of the committee expressed concerns only 14 per cent of the development would be made up of affordable housing.

Labour councillor, Jenny Gray, said: “It really upsets me that a few years ago we were able to designate 50 per cent of developments to affordable housing.

“But, changes to planning laws mean we are just fighting to do the best we can.

“I still do not think 14 per cent is enough and I would be happy if could deny this plan, but I would certainly hope that a viability study was done again.”

Permission for the project was granted on the condition developers Metropolitan & Suburban (Walthamstow) begin work at the site within the next 12 months.

If this does not happen, a review into the levels of affordable housing provided at the development will be held.

Conservative councillor, Alan Siggers, branded the plans a: “massive overdevelopment.”

He added: “We are being expected to accept that a development of 183 flats is going to be so financially dicey that they are saying: ‘we can only get away with 14 per cent affordable housing’”

Plans also include provision for at least two children’s play areas and car parking space for 20 residents.

Although one Walthamstow resident did speak at the meeting in favour of the project, the council has previously received two written objections to the plans.

Issues raised included claims the development was “significantly taller” than other buildings in the surrounding area and “overbearing”.

However, in a report published last week, council officers judged buildings were of an “acceptable” height, with the tallest elements set away from the roadside.