A DEVELOPER has been slammed for releasing new plans for a tower block in Walthamstow - including an artist's impression which does not show how tall it is.
Solum Regeneration attracted criticism from some residents earlier this year when it unveiled a proposed £15 million redevelopment of the area next to Priory Avenue, which included plans for 85 homes in two residential units, five shops and a hotel housed in a 12-storey block.
Following a consultation with residents and the council, Solum has now altered the plans – but has attracted criticism for increasing the height of the hotel tower by one floor.
Residents have also accused Solum of trying to mislead the public by releasing images to the Guardian which only show the bottom few storeys of the building.
Sally Stephens, chair of Priory Ave Residents Association, said the computer generated images were a “gross misrepresentation” of what the development will actually look like.
Solum denies the claims, and says it will be sending a newsletter to residents tomorrow which has images featuring the entire height of the building.
It also says it has responded to residents' concerns by lowering the height of two proposed residential blocks in the development from a maximum of 11 and nine storeys respectively to eight storeys each.
Under the new plans, the hotel will have 99 rooms instead of 88, while the number of homes will be reduced from 87 to 69. The exact location of the planned buildings has been tweaked, as has their design.
The plans also include a pedestrian “link” to Queens Road station and a new public square area.
But residents remain unconvinced.
Caramel Quin, chair of Cleveland Park Residents' Association and one of the organisers of the Fight the Height group, said: “From what we've seen so far, we're still unhappy with the poor quality architecture they have proposed and the height is still ridiculous for a location where the council's own policy recommends a maximum of five to seven storeys.
"It's a very cynical move for Solum to submit the amended plans just before Christmas when we're all so busy.
“It's almost as if they didn't want any objections.”
Peter Hughes from Solum Regeneration said: “The new shop outlets and a hotel will help to strengthen the town centre, providing an extra £1 million local investment and new job opportunities.
"We have consulted with local residents throughout the development of the proposals and have made a number of improvements following recent feedback with the council and local residents.”
The public now has less than two weeks to comment on the plans to Waltham Forest Council.
A meeting to discuss the plans will be held at Waltham Forest Town Hall on Wednesday December 15 at 6.30pm.