Once again the Town Centre is under threat from a totally inappropriate development which can only be justified by how much the developers intend to make out of it. Last week displays were exhibited in the Mall of plans to demolish part of the existing shopping centre and rebuild it on a third of the existing open space. So not only do we lose a third of the valuable open space but the shopping centre will be closed while the work progresses. No chance to improve the bus station.
As if that was not bad enough a 27 storey block is proposed somewhere around the existing delivery yard. Having recently visited Ilford it is clear huge tower blocks do nothing to enhance an area and in Ilford's case it is pretty decrepit and depressing to visit.
To further rub our noses in it the developers held focus groups but we were only allowed to discuss how we would like to see the shrubs laid out in the remaining open space. This was an insult because clearly Capital and Regional have decided what will make them the most money and are using the Area Action Plan to justify their awful scheme. I don't hold out much hope of our councillors engaging with the public to stop this wrecking of the heart of Walthamstow.
Walthamstow Town Centre is a vibrant shopping centre surrounded by much loved Victorian terraces. It has a very busy market and a 27 storey tower block will spoil the atmosphere of the market and probably kill it off. With pressure from the new developments at the St James Street end (Essex Brewery site and South Grove Car Park site) more people will be using the High Street which cannot cope with the existing crowds. When will our councillors engage with residents and encourage developments which will enhance the area rather than increase the profits of the developers?