Friday, 26 August 2016

Walthamstow Town Centre battle




Over 1,000 names have been collected on the petition to stop the Mall Corporation expanding the shopping centre on to the open space and building a 27 storey tower block on the site. It is interesting when collecting the signatures that 50% of people just walk past oblivious to our urgings, but the other 50% have been appalled that the council can be contemplating such an awful development. Only a couple of people have refused to sign because they want it! The next stage of the battle is a meeting with Cllr. Clare Coghill, Portfolio Lead Member for Economic Growth and High Streets - watch this space!

Not a Model Development

The Cabinet Report that tries to justify it:


LONDON BOROUGH OF WALTHAM FOREST
Meeting / Date Cabinet/ 21 July
Report Title Walthamstow Town Centre Regeneration and
development of The Mall shopping centre
Cabinet Portfolio Councillor Coghill,
Portfolio Lead Member for
Economic Growth and
High Streets
Report Author/
Contact details
Lucy Shomali, Acting Director Regeneration and Growth
Regeneration and Growth
Marina Dimopoulou Assistant Director Asset Management
and Delivery
Wards affected Hoe Street and High Street
Public Access OPEN
Appendices Appendix 1 – EqIA
Appendix 2 – Sustainability Matrix
1. SUMMARY
1.1 Capital and Regional have approached the Council regarding their
potential plans to redevelop the Mall shopping centre by building above
the existing shopping centre and extending the shopping centre on to
part of the Town Square and gardens the freehold of which is owned
by the Council. Due to the potential financial value of any variation to
the existing lease agreement for The Mall and the significant
regenerative impact any extension will have on the Borough’s main
town centre and the local community this report is being presented to
Cabinet.
1.2 This reports seeks an in principle agreement to progress commercial
negotiations with Capital and Regional (the owners of The Mall) in
relation to their aspirations to redevelop the Mall. The report also sets
out the high level proposals for the redevelopment of The Mall and the
regeneration impacts such proposals will deliver to Walthamstow Town
Centre.
1.3 Further decisions regarding the commercial arrangements and
planning permission will return to Cabinet, Planning Committee and be
delegated to appropriate officers as the project progresses.
2. RECOMMENDATIONS
2.1 Cabinet is recommended to:
2.1.1 Note the opportunity and proposals to redevelop the Mall shopping
centre.
2.1.2 Agree to officers progressing commercial negotiations with Capital and
Regional regarding proposals of the redevelopment of the Mall and the
existing lease interest.
3. PROPOSALS
3.1 The Mall is a shopping centre currently with circa 55 retailers located in
Walthamstow Town Centre, adjacent to the High Street and Town
Square and Gardens. It is owned by Capital & Regional under a long
leasehold interest which was granted by the Council, freeholder of the
land on 24 June 1988 for a term of ninety nine (99) years.
3.2 Capital and Regional have approached the Council regarding its
aspirations to build above the existing shopping centre’s footprint and
extend the shopping centre on to part of the Town Square and
Gardens to provide additional and larger retail units to meet the
requirements of future tenants and provide an enhanced shopping offer
within the town centre. Under the terms of the Lease, consent is
required from the Council (as Landlord) before Capital & Regional can
proceed with the redevelopment. Permission as land-owner of the
adjoining Town Square and Gardens is also required from the Council
for any extensions into this piece of land.
3.3 To date, the Council has led the regeneration of Walthamstow Town
Centre, investing in the physical appearance of the town centre and
attracting private sector investment. Examples of successful schemes
include the leisure and housing development at The Scene, Cleveland
Place and The Solum Travelodge and residential development by
Walthamstow Central Station. The success of this investment has
resulted in continued investor interest in Walthamstow. The Mall’s
location by the Bus and Train/ Underground station makes it potentially
a prime site for additional residential development and retail. Capital
and Regional are considering proposals which include circa 300
residential units developed above the existing shopping centre as well
as an extension on part of the Town Square and Gardens which are
owned by the Council.
3.4 The principle of building residential units above and extending the Mall
on to Town Square and Gardens was is considered in the
Walthamstow Area Action Plan (AAP) (pages 107-113 in particular)
which was adopted as a Development Plan document by Full Council
on 16th October 2014.
3.5 Capital & Regional are proposing a scheme that will deliver:
 Exemplar design quality delivered to the standard of the best
schemes in central London;
 A prestigious public realm in and around the Town Square
through a quality of design and use of high spec materials which
will deliver a public open space which provides for a range of
activities and uses;
 A high quality housing offer appropriate for a town setting;
 A scheme that meets and fulfils the planning gain requirements
 A high quality mix of retail within the commercial element of the
development which enhances the quality of the offer in the
existing shopping centre and wider town centre.
3.6 The current development proposals are expected to have a significant
regenerative impact on Walthamstow and the Borough’s growth
ambitions more widely. It is anticipated that the potential provision of
circa 300 new homes into the town centre will positively impact on the
levels of footfall and therefore spend within the town centre to the
benefit many locally owned businesses. In addition, by bringing in high
quality retailers and other town centre uses, the redevelopment of the
Mall will enhance and improve the offer of the town centre, thereby
attracting further visitors and spend into the area.
3.7 Commercial negotiations are at an early stage however the terms of
any agreement or variation of the Lease with Capital & Regional will
require approval from Cabinet and will fulfil the criteria of Section 123 of
the Local Government Act 1972, which requires the Council to get best
consideration for the sale/ lease of any Council owned land.
4 OPTIONS & ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED
4.1 This report is seeking approval to progress commercial negotiations
with Capital and Regional. Pre-application Planning meetings are also
underway. No specific options are being considered at this stage and
these will be set out in a future Cabinet report.
4.2 There is the option to not progress with the redevelopment of the Mall.
However this is not recommended as it would have a negative impact
on the future vitality and sustainability of Walthamstow Town centre.
Investment in the Mall shopping centre is required to ensure that
Walthamstow attracts the retailers that the local community wish to see
in the town centre. To not progress discussions in relation to Capital &
Regional’s proposals would counter the Council’s regeneration and
growth priorities.
5 SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY STRATEGY PRIORITIES (AND OTHER
NATIONAL OR LOCAL POLICIES OR STRATEGIES)
5.1 The redevelopment of The Mall will meet three of the key objectives of
the Sustainable Communities Strategy.
5.1.1 Managing Population growth and Change – the development of
additional housing above the centre, especially in this very accessible
location will assist the borough in meeting its requirement for additional
housing.
5.1.2 Creating Wealth – the provision of additional retail space will enable
higher quality retailers to locate in the town centre, thereby increasing
footfall and benefiting locally-owned businesses in the town centre.
Additional residents in the town centre will also bring new and
increased spending capacity into the town centre for the benefit of
businesses.
5.1.3 Retaining wealth in the Borough – by providing space for new, highquality
retailers and new homes we will not only attract new visitors and
residents to the borough but we will retain our existing residents spend
within the borough to the benefit of all businesses.
6 CONSULTATION
6.1 As stated at paragraph 4.1 the proposals are at the early stages of
developing this proposal. The Council, as landowner, plan to
undertake a joint consultation with Capital and Regional in September
to present the proposals to the public ahead of any planning application
submission. There will be consultation on the scheme through the
usual planning processes in due course.
7 IMPLICATIONS
7.1 Finance, Value for Money and Risk
7.1.1 The terms of any agreement or variation of the existing interest with
Capital & Regional will require further approval from Cabinet and will
fulfil the criteria of S.123 of the Local Government Act 1972. In the
interim, Capital & Regional will be responsible for the Council's legal &
surveying costs.
7.2 Legal
7.2.1 The Council has under Section (1) of the Localism Act 2011 the power
to do anything that individuals may generally do (the general power of
competence). The Council also has the power under section 111 of the
Local Government Act 1972 to do anything which is calculated to
facilitate or is conducive or incidental to the discharge of any of its
functions.
7.2.2 The Council also has the power under Section 111 of the Local
Government Act 1972 to do anything which is calculated to facilitate or
is conducive or incidental to the discharge of any of its functions.
7.3 Equalities and Diversity
7.3.1 This project is at the early stages of development. The impacts as
currently known have been assessed. In the main there are positive
implications as key concerns, such as employment, fear of crime and
safety and creating a sustainable town centre will be positively
impacted as a result of these proposals. Potential future equality and
diversity issues will be addressed through the planning process as the
scheme develops and be subject to further equality analysis where
relevant.
7.4 Sustainability (including climate change, health, crime and
disorder)
7.4.1 It is very early in the project to be able to identify specific impacts on
environmental sustainability. However as the project develops through
the planning process the opportunities to address sustainability issues
will be explored further. Mitigation measures will need to be put in
place through the planning process to address the results of
intensification; however there are opportunities to promote
sustainability measures such as reducing energy and water
consumption, use of public transport and recycling with new users and
visitors to the centre.
7.4.2 Economic sustainability can be achieved by creating a destination
where people want to visit, live and work. The improved offer and
additional housing increases footfall and spend, and in turn draws
further investment opportunities into the area. Opportunities for local
businesses as a result in the increase footfall and spend will add to the
economic sustainability of the programme.
7.4.3 Social sustainability can be achieved through improved place making
where people want visit and stay longer in the area as the places feel
more welcoming and issues of crime and safety are addressed.
7.5 Council Infrastructure
7.5.1 This Project is currently resourced from existing resources.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION (as defined by Local Government
(Access to Information) Act 1985)
The Walthamstow Area Action Plan

1 comment:

  1. A good summary of how the campaign is gpoing at this early stage. We now have a Facebook page to facilitate comment and discussion and keep people abreast of developments: https://www.facebook.com/savewalthamstowtowncentre/ This was set up only three days ago so it's very early to judge response, but we hope it will provide a focus for the campaign. Please join our mailing list to keep in touch: https://www.gopetition.com/petitions/resist-commercial-exploitation-of-the-mall-walthamstow.html
    The petition itself is here: https://www.gopetition.com/petitions/resist-commercial-exploitation-of-the-mall-walthamstow.html
    Thanks!

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