People can have their say on giving local people priority in plans for affordable housing from today.

Waltham Forest Council launched a public consultation on the neighbourhood plan for Hatch Lane, Hale End, Chapel End, Larkswood and Highams Park today, which includes proposals to build affordable housing offered to those with strong local ties first.

The new homes will be built focusing on larger families, providing homes with three or four bedrooms, and older residents wishing to downsize.

The exact location and number of houses proposed is yet to be determined and will be dependent on further discussions between the council and local planning representatives.

Other proposals include additional tree planting, extending Hale End library and introducing facilities for sports clubs at local playing fields.

Step-free access will be introduced at Highams Park station, as well as more bike stands and cycle lanes across the area and more funding will be provided for community groups.

The consultation will run from today through until Monday, February 18.

The plan has taken four years to put together and is led by the Highams Park Planning Group.

The group has included assessments of the area’s housing characteristics which will be taken into account when plans for new houses are confirmed.

The new housing is needed, the group says, because of projected population growth in the area.

The Greater London Authority expects the population of those over the age of 66 in the area to double by 2033.

For more information and to have your say, click here or email or write to Planning Policy, Magistrates Building, 2 Farnan Avenue, Walthamstow. E17 4NX.