Walthamstow Central tube station has been allocated £15 million for improvements, but only if the controversial Walthamstow Mall redevelopment goes ahead.

New plans for the station include installing step-free access and a creating a new entrance.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced the funding today after negotiations between Waltham Forest Council, the Greater London Authority and Transport for London.

The funding, from TfL’s Growth Funding scheme, has been granted on condition that the redevelopment of Walthamstow Mall happens, which will involve £200 million of private investment.

Mr Khan approved the Mall plans on Tuesday March 20 and is said to be committed to working with Waltham Forest Council and ensuring the continued regeneration of Walthamstow.

Mr Khan said: “I’m delighted to be announcing millions of pounds of investment that will directly improve people’s daily experience on our public transport network and unlock vital new housing and jobs.

“As London’s population grows, it is essential we continue to build world-class infrastructure like new Tube stations across the capital, but also target improvements in a way that can help deliver the new homes Londoners desperately need.”

The plans to redevelop Walthamstow Mall were approved by Waltham Forest Council planning committee in December 2017 and are set to provide 8,000 square meters of new retail space, 350 new permanent retail jobs, 500 new homes (of which 30 per cent will be affordable), a new children’s play area and re-landscaped town square.

A further contribution of £7.3 million from developers will be used to build affordable rent homes around Walthamstow.

The Mall redevelopment is proving controversial, however, and activists have protested the plans since their approval.

Protest group Save Our Square E17 have campaigned strongly against the plans, citing gentrification, loss of public space, stretched resources and pollution as some of the reasons for their opposition.

Nancy Taaffe, spokesman for Save Our Square E17, said: “A huge white elephant . We completely oppose such a flagrant abuse of public funds to accommodate a scheme which will not solve our housing crisis , alleviate our chaotic transport infrastructure or respect our environment .

“This £15 million from the mayor has been found to sweeten the scheme that makes it even more profitable for the developers. £15 million to ensure mainly childless, young professionals will be funnelled back and forth from the city to this rapidly becoming dormitory town.

She added: “Recent reports have suggested that the London residential market is slowing and young families are struggling to live and stay here.”

The council have said they are prioritising the delivery of truly affordable homes and added that first priority for all affordable homes built in the borough will go to residents of Walthamstow.

TfL’s Growth Fund is designed to finance sustainable transport infrastructure to support development and regeneration in some of London’s most important growth areas; of which Walthamstow is one.

TfL says the upgrade of Walthamstow Central station will support around 2,000 new homes across Walthamstow town centre and allow room for future growth in the area.

Waltham Forest Council Leader, Clare Coghill, said: “We welcome this announcement from Transport for London which will support our already ambitious plans to rejuvenate Walthamstow.

“Improvements to the station will support the Mall redevelopment which is bringing an improved retail experience and more jobs to the area, as well as hundreds of much needed new homes, and rejuvenated town centre which will become the beating heart of the community.

She added: “This investment will see huge benefits for our growing population, ensuring that everyone, especially those with mobility difficulties, are able to easily access the capital’s public transport system and it will further cement the area as a destination for Londoners looking to live, socialise, shop and soak up the culture in Walthamstow.”