Report news now! Text pictures & video to 80360, starting message with WITNESS then leave a space
Wood Street housing plan 'will create ghetto’
9:00am Wednesday 18th September 2013 in News
A regeneration scheme including 1,000 new homes in the Wood Street area of Walthamstow could create a new "ghetto", it is claimed.
The public is being consultated on the scheme, which could see extensive new housing on sites including Marlowe Road estate, the Plaza and Lucerne Grove.
A council consultation with Wood Street retailers began back in 2009, with a wider public consultation continuing through 2010 and 2011.
But retailers and residents said they were unaware of the project until earlier this year.
Many argue there is not enough school places and parking in the area to support an influx of new residents.
They are also worried about the loss of green spaces to housing.
Tim Gill, of the Wood Street First community group, said:” There are major concerns about the impact on local businesses and employment opportunities, the potential loss of community facilities and public space, and the strain that will be placed on existing local services, especially schools,which are already struggling to provide enough places.”
Linda and Chris Bracey, co-owners of Gods Own Junkyard (GOJY) neon sign business, could be forced to sell one of their premises in Vallentin Road to make way for flats.
Mrs Bracey said: “I’m not at all happy about what I see. They are taking away a lot of open spaces around Northwood Tower.
“It’s going to produce a ghetto and areas where you can’t be seen which will make it harder to police. “
Mark Himpsen, 55, who has lived in Northwood Tower in Marlowe Road for over 30 years, spoke out against the development at a public meeting last week.
“When does this borough become full? We’re full to the brim,” he said.
“They’re going to build on every bit of green It ‘ll be like a ghetto.”
The largest development will be on the Marlowe Road Estate and Mr Himpsen is concerned the new flats will surrounding Northwood Tower will look "like a prison".
Julie Davis, co-owner of Wood Street Indoor Market, is worried about what the development will mean for businesses in the area.
She said: “Why are they building so many flats and what impact will that have on the high street?
“It’ll be more overcrowded and built up.”
The council’s area action plan states: “We aim to create a genuine town centre which is distinctive and preserves and enhances the assets of Wood Street whilst improving its vitality and vibrancy.
“The council considers Wood Street as an area of great potential that should be better exploited in the future.”
Cllr Marie Pye, cabinet member for housing and town centres, said: “We are working hard to talk to those residents and businesses that will be most affected by the plans.
“It is very important to us to explain the ideas for making improvements to the area in and around Wood Street and it is why we have done so much to get people involved in the discussions, not least in the shape of the Marlowe Road Steering Group.
“There is still plenty of time for people to have their say and I would encourage anyone who has feedback to offer to do so. We’re listening.”
The consultation period ends on September 30.
Comments are closed on this article.