Walthamstow Town Centre Update - Public Services Impact Update

Below is the latest update I have sent out to residents in Walthamstow about the proposed redevelopment of Walthamstow Town Centre- it contains the further details of information provided by Waltham Forest Council about the public services impact of this development. If you are a local resident and want to receive these updates directly please email stella@workingforwalthamstow.org.uk. 

Update to Walthamstow Residents sent Saturday March 17th 2018 

As someone who has emailed me about the proposed development of Walthamstow Town Centre, please find below the latest update of information I have received about this development. Please be aware this is a long email -  you can find the last update I have sent out on this matter on my website here which sets out my concerns about this development and the information residents have access to on which to assess it. This email is a follow up to this one and my request for further detail from the Council on specific points. 

Further to my previous correspondence to local residents regarding the proposed town centre developing, residents will know that I have proposed four tests to assess whether any proposed development is of a standard suitable for Walthamstow. One of these tests relates to the impact of any development on local public service provision. This test is as follows:
With any major development can come investment in supporting services- whether money provided for healthcare and education facilities or for physical and environmental improvements. Our local voluntary and community organisations are struggling to find premises in our community due to the high rental costs of our limited office space too. No development in Walthamstow should stand alone- it has to make an active contribution to supporting the wider provision of services and community services residents require and supporting its impact on our area.”
 In a previous update, I noted that the Council had stated they had been provided with an update from the local healthcare service providers as to their assessment of need in our local area, and had also undertaken this in relation to schools:
The number of children likely to be living in the proposed development is anticipated to be fairly low given the mix of the units and the quantum of larger family size units being proposed as part of the development. The education department were consulted and they have advised that there would be a sufficient number of school places within the local Walthamstow area to serve the additional child population that would arise due to the scheme. Further to this the WFCCG were also consulted and have advised that there are sufficient doctors’ surgeries within the local area to cater for future residents within The Mall development. In these respects, there would not be a strain on public services.”
Following this, I asked for further details of this statement and the Council have now responded to me with the following statement,
Given the likely property type provided through the new development it is not anticipated that the development will put significant pressure on local school places. The table below sets out that there is significant surplus capacity at primary and secondary school level, and that there will be surplus capacity across local schools at all year group levels even after the anticipated increase in the number of school aged children linked to the Mall development is taken into account.
In regards to proposed pressure on local GP practices, the Council have provided the following statement after seeking advice from WFCCG,
Short to Medium Term
There are a number of GP practices s in the vicinity of the development. North of The Mall, Forest Road Medical Centre has capacity. Around The Mall, The Firs Practice, Queens Road Medical Centre and, slightly further away, Grove Road Medical Centre  have recently been successful with NHS Premises Funding to enable them to be more compliant and have increased capacity. Works  should commence and finish by March 2018.
Longer term
WFCCG have been working closely with LBWF to ensure the re-provision of St James Medical Centre which continues to face exponential growth due to the regeneration in the area. The medical centre, which is located in the heart of Walthamstow, is in need of significant modernisation. The new St James Medical Centre will operate as a health ‘hub’, which will offer multiple health services in a fit for purpose build. As part of this process WFCCG will undertake an engagement exercise in the area to gather the views of residents.  This will be used to help plan appropriate healthcare for the future.”
I hope this information is of interest in understanding the Council’s statements on this particular test – I am still awaiting further details as to when the viability assessment that they have committed to sharing will be made public too, to enable residents to consider what possibility for alteration- if any- there is to these plans. As soon as I have this information I will also share it with those who have been in touch and please do feel free to share this update with other residents interested in this matter.
With kind regards,

Cara Sanquest