Thursday, 22 June 2017

Council's response to the Town Centre questions

Dear Mr Stannard

Thank you for your interest in the application to redevelop The Mall.  As Cabinet member for Economic growth and High Streets I thought it might be helpful if I clarified some points. My answers to the issues you raise are set out below:

1.       Consultation
·          In view of the scale, complexity and importance of the proposals LBWF has instigated an enhanced  public consultation process which includes direct mailing to 10 000+ town centre addresses, an extended consultation period until late July (rather than standard 21 days), a summary flyer and public drop in sessions at Walthamstow Library on 3 July between 1pm – 3pm and 6 July 5pm – 7pm.
·          We are aware that there are difficulties in downloading plans from the website.  We are therefore transferring the application on to our Local Plan Consultation system.  This should be done by the end of the day and should enable easier access to and viewing of the application information and plans.  A hard copy of the application is available to view at the Council’s offices (Sycamore House) and at the library.
·          Dates for the drop in sessions etc. were included in our flyer and we are using social media and other digital channels to publicise this further.

This is one of the most important applications we have in the system at the moment and we are going to extra lengths to ensure that residents and others have an opportunity to have their say.

2.       Resident Safety
·          Residents safety is our absolute priority both during construction and post completion.
·          As part of the planning application consultation we will be liaising with our own building control and highways teams, Met Police, London Fire Brigade and TfL.  All but the first are statutory consultees for an application of this nature.
·          This should ensure that concerns about construction methodology, the principle of the safety of the building and access and servicing arrangements for all traffic including emergency vehicles are fully addressed as part of the consideration of the application.
·          We will of course comply with any changes in regulations that come out of the Grenfell House investigation and inquiry.

3.       Benefits of the scheme
·          The benefits of redeveloping The Mall were highlighted as part of the Walthamstow Town Centre Area Action Plan
·          These include a re-invigorated, flagship retail and cultural venue with improved shops, food and drink uses and an enhanced town square.  The development would deliver much needed homes along with significant numbers of new jobs both during the construction period and permanent jobs within the completed development
·          Without the significant investment that the scheme will deliver these benefits could not be realised.

4.       High quality
·          We are striving to deliver high quality development across the Borough. To enable this we have established the Waltham Forest Design Review Panel delivered by CABE.  The Panel has already reviewed the scheme and amendments and improvements that they suggested have been made incorporated.
·          By working with the applicants, Capital and Regional, and seeking this external review of the proposals we are confident that a high quality development can be achieved.

5.       Engagement with other stakeholders
·          We have been liaising with the GLA and the London Mayor in the run up to the submission of the planning application.
·          By working with the Mayor and other partners, such as TfL, we are hoping to deliver a package of town centre improvements that will provide the best deal for Walthamstow.
·          This will build on the success of other schemes that have already been delivered such as The Scene and the town centre public realm scheme.

I hope this is useful and answers the concerns you raise.

With best wishes


Simon Miller
A Labour Councillor for Leyton
Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and High Streets

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