Property developer NEAT Developments, and BlackRock Real Assets, have jointly submitted a hybrid planning application to Waltham Forest Council for an industrial-led mixed-use development at Uplands Business Park on Blackhorse Lane in London E17. The proposed development provides a solution to the urgent need to retain and intensify industrial land while delivering much needed housing in line with the London Plan, and represents only a handful of stacked industrial schemes in the UK.
The proposals would create a new mixed-use neighbourhood comprising over 29,000 sq m of light industrial floorspace, up to 1,800 new homes, 35% of which would be affordable, along with extensive public realm and a range of amenity and recreational space, with a total gross development value of over £800 million.
The phased approach comprises the redevelopment of parts of Uplands Business Park and Forest Trading Estate in Walthamstow and includes the demolition of all existing buildings and structures, with the exception of Uplands House.
Phase 1 facilitates the retention of existing businesses on the site with the construction of 18,000 sq m of modern stacked industrial floorspace across two buildings, around a new dedicated industrial yard. It also delivers 119 new homes.
Phase 2 delivers a further 11,000 sq m of additional industrial floorspace and up to 1,681 homes, with a wide range of new retail, restaurants, cafés, outdoor markets and leisure spaces, substantially increasing the cultural, leisure and F&B offer. There are plans for generous green spaces, including a new 6,000 sq m ‘Wetlands Waterside’ park overlooking Walthamstow Wetlands – Europe’s largest urban wetlands and one of the most beautiful waterside locations in the capital.
Uplands Business Park is a diverse, popular community that is attracting a growing number of independent businesses and creatives, including start-ups and SMEs. The industrial provision includes multi-storey ‘stacked’ industrial units catering to a variety of needs, from consumer-facing businesses requiring bespoke units, to larger companies needing more yard space and ground floor access. Existing businesses at the park will be relocated within the newly created units and, in total, it is anticipated that over 1,000 extra jobs will be generated through the scheme.
The plans are based on the highest sustainability credentials, targeting BREEAM Excellent for the new industrial and commercial buildings. Enhancements to the green infrastructure via high quality landscaping, tree planting and roof gardens will increase the biodiversity of the site by 50%. The plans seek to reuse, recycle or recover 95% of construction and demolition waste and source building materials locally (low carbon where possible) for short supply chains. Rainwater will be recycled and re-used for external watering through blue roofs. Electric charging points will be available for industrial and residential vehicles and the layout of the new neighbourhood, with secure bicycle storage, will make cycling and walking the easiest and most pleasant option for local travel. The objective is to create a ‘15-minute neighbourhood’, enabling people to meet most of their needs within a short walk or bike ride from their home or place of work.
Brian Reynolds, Director at NEAT Developments said: “This proposed development by NEAT Developments and BlackRock follows close engagement with the local community and harnesses the potential of Blackhorse Lane, identified as a key growth area by the Council.
It seamlessly integrates housing with industry and culture, providing modern, stacked-industrial uses with much-needed homes in a vibrant, sustainable neighbourhood.”
Strategically located, Uplands is serviced by three nearby train stations, Blackhorse Road tube, and Walthamstow Central and Queens Road Overground, all with easy links into central London and beyond.
Subject to securing planning approval, the start of Phase 1 construction works is due in late summer 2024, with completion anticipated in summer 2027.