Listed former police station flats conversion plan rejected

A plan to convert a former police station, which has been lying empty for five years, into flats was rejected by a council planning committee.

The proposal was to turn the locally listed Walthamstow Police Station, in Forest Road, into 21 flats including four three-bedroom, 11 two-bedroom and six one-bedroom properties.

This was rejected last night (February 2) by the council planning committee at Waltham Forest town hall in Walthamstow.

The site was sold by Metropolitan Police after an arson attack in 2011.

Bob Bennett, speaking at the meeting on behalf of applicant Feroz Yusuf, said the site was in desperate need of development.

He said: “It has been empty for a long time and has been occupied a few times by squatters.

“Our plans will maintain the front of the building and maintain the surrounding wall around the building.”

But concern was raised by the committee at the fact there is no affordable housing in the proposal.

A contribution of £274,000 would instead be given towards affordable housing elsewhere in the borough.

Leytonstone ward Labour councillor Jenny Gray said this was not acceptable.

She said: “I am concerned about the lack of affordable housing in the scheme.

“Think of the astronomical property crisis in that part of Walthamstow, so this site will be worth millions.

“I can’t see how the applicant can justify no affordable housing on the sizable site, I am not happy with it.”

William Morris ward Labour councillor Stuart Emmerson said that the proposal needs work to be accepted by the committee.

“I welcome the plans to develop and would like to see development here and this plan is not a million miles away,” he added.

“But there are several issues with this including affordable housing and design so I cannot support it yet.”

The committee voted unanimously against the planning application.

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