A groundbreaking ceremony has marked the start of construction on Countryside and Waltham Forest Council’s transformation of the Walthamstow Town Hall campus into a brand-new neighbourhood and cultural hub in the heart of the borough.
With the first ground broken by the Leader of Waltham Forest Council, Grace Williams, and Countryside Managing Director for East London, Kevin Delve, the event officially started the regeneration scheme, which has been named Hepworth Place after Philip Dalton Hepworth, the architect who designed the original Waltham Forest Town Hall built in 1938.
Hepworth Place will provide 433 high-quality homes prioritised for local people (of which 50% will be affordable on a habitable room basis), a brand-new civic building with café/restaurant space opening onto Fellowship Square, new landscaped gardens and play facilities on Chestnuts Field, as well as a new nursery and new commercial space.
With construction now underway, the first homes are expected to be ready to occupy in late 2023, with the development as a whole anticipated to fully complete in 2025.
Hepworth Place addresses the climate emergency declared by the London Borough of Waltham Forest by being car free, providing 815 secure cycle spaces, planting over 200 new trees, providing renewable energy through PV panels and a Communal Heating system and by delivering landscaping that promotes biodiversity and mitigates flooding.
The regeneration will drive economic recovery in the borough and bring hundreds of new jobs to the area, including over 600 during construction and over 800 supply chain jobs, as well as nearly 160 additional jobs from new commercial and community uses. There will also be a programme for schools and colleges to visit and learn about apprenticeships and training opportunities.
Countryside and Waltham Forest’s development builds on the success of the first phase of works that completed in July 2021 and which fully refurbished the historic Grade II listed Town Hall and created Fellowship Square with a state-of-the-art water feature, which has since been hugely popular with residents and visitors.
Cllr Grace Williams, Leader of Waltham Forest Council, said: “This is an exciting moment in turning Fellowship Square into a community in the heart of our borough.
“It will not only create jobs and much needed new homes, but further enhance Fellowship Square as a 365-day cultural destination.”
“The investment in this iconic site, which holds so much civic pride, will ensure this cultural asset for future generations.
Kevin Delve, Managing Director, East London, Countryside, said: “The official start of construction is a landmark moment for our regeneration of the Waltham Forest Town Hall campus in partnership with the council, and we are delighted to see the project take this important step forward.
“Hepworth Place holds such a key role for the borough, delivering not only 433 sustainable new homes and a new civic building for the council, but also helping to tackle the Climate Emergency by being car-free and encouraging active travel, and we are looking forward to delivering this vision in the coming years.”