Landmark ‘small spaces’ planning approval for Waltham Forest

July 12, 2018 / Isla MacFarlane
Landmark ‘small spaces’ planning approval for Waltham Forest

Planning has been granted by London Borough of Waltham Forest for two new properties marking a landmark decision on the use of quirky ‘small’ spaces for new urban homes.

Loughton-based Clear Architects have worked closely with regional planners to bring The Yard and Southwell Grove to fruition, in a move which will pave the way for a ‘small homes revolution’ creating ‘SMART’ (Sustainable, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) homes for modern living.

The Yard, a disused factory in Leyton, East London will be developed into three architecturally designed contemporary dwellings whilst Southwell Grove, a double garage located between two end of terrace houses in Leytonstone, will become a single storey one-bedroom home.

These properties show how unloved and neglected spaces can be turned into meaningful and important dwellings for someone to make their home. In turn they will significantly improve the street scene for the The Mayor of London gave credence to the potential of so-called infill sites in the London Housing Strategy citing a recognised requirement for the creation of new homes in areas with existing infrastructure.

“Strongly promoting appropriate development of new homes on brownfield land, in and around town centres, and through a new presumption in favour of appropriate residential development on small sites”.

Compact development uses existing derelict or unused parcels of land in an innovative way, improving the local street scene and encouraging further regeneration, especially within inner-city boroughs.

Melanie Clear, Founder & Practice Director at Clear Architects – and a recent WICE Award Finalist for Architect of the Year said, “Our vision is to create modern homes for young professionals and empty nesters which have strong architectural merit but are small and simple in design. There is a need for low-maintenance affordable homes with good infrastructure on their doorstep.

“Using disused parcels of land is a sensible approach to urban planning, but because these sites are typically brownfield, often with an awkward shape or access issues, they are too readily overlooked by developers. With imagination and architectural expertise, these tricky spaces can create a better environment for those in the immediate vicinity and provide inspiring contemporary dwellings.”

The planning permission decision is directly in line with the 2017 Housing White Paper and section 5.6 of Waltham Forest’s Supplementary Planning Guidance Document ‘Housing Density’, which states that “in all development proposals, opportunities should be taken to make the best use of land through achieving the optimum level of density appropriate to the site’s location, context, existing or proposed social infrastructure and public transport accessibility”.

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