Eighteen families have been given the keys to lush new apartments in an estate which is being refurbished after years of neglect.

When regeneration plans are complete, The Marlowe Road Estate in Walthamstow will include 436 new homes, 150 of which are for social rent and 18 for shared ownership.

The scheme, known as Feature 17, includes new cycle routes, a children’s play area, a new library, retail units and a public plaza.

Four families who were previously living in the estate and nine families from other parts of Waltham Forest are among those who moved into their new homes this week.

The next batch of homes - 34 properties for social rent - are expected to be ready to move into before Christmas.

Cllr Louise Mitchell, cabinet member for housing, said: “These new family apartments are fantastic – really spacious, and built to a high quality.

“I’m proud to be a part of this council as we help local residents get their feet on the property ladder.

“We are delivering on our pledge that local people should always have the first offers for new homes in the borough.

“Having a good quality, affordable home in opens up opportunities for families, and especially young people, to improve their life chances and succeed in Waltham Forest.

“I am delighted to accept these 18 shared ownership apartments and look forward to receiving the keys to the first 34 social rent apartments in December.”