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Building and landscape design services

Last updated 25 March 2014

The Council is committed to ensuring that all new development meets local criteria in respect of land use, practicality and environmental considerations.

Waltham Forest Design Awards 2013/14

The Council, in partnership with the local Guardian newspaper, have announced the winners of the Waltham Forest Design Awards competition.

View the winning and commended schemes (1952 KB PDF file).

The event celebrates the best in good design within the Borough. Schemes may be large or small, located anywhere in the Borough, and there is no restriction on the type or use of the building or land involved.

Design guidance for new development

The Council is committed to raising the quality of design for all new development in Waltham Forest. The Council's Urban Design team has therefore produced two Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD) on design which were adopted in February 2010.

The first document is on Urban Design and is aimed at larger development proposals, including housing schemes and other mixed use development.

The second document is on Residential Extensions and Alterations and provides design advice to householders wanting to extend or make changes to their home.

See formally adopted documents below:

Both documents have been subject to extensive public consultation and the Council would like to thank everyone who responded with views and comments. We have sought to incorporate the majority of views expressed within the guidance and a schedule of representations for both documents can be found below:

The documents have also taken into account the results of previous public consultation on the Council’s Sustainable Community Strategy, published in 2008. Local people recognised the various challenges facing the borough, particularly in relation to access to quality housing, and wanted to see a high quality of design and materials in all new buildings and public spaces.

The documents have also been informed by a Characterisation Study of the borough. This study includes a detailed analysis of the borough’s overall character, the pattern and history of development and its key built and natural features, and sets out a number of key findings and recommendations.

Waltham Forest Characterisation study

The purpose of this study was to provide an evidence base for the Council's design policy and guidance in the borough. This study directly informed the production of new guidance on urban design and residential extensions/alterations adopted by the Council as Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD) in February 2009.

Characterisation study report contents

View the characterisation study contents descriptions (781KB PDF file)

Part one - introduction and overview

first part of this report provides an overview of the Borough's character and identifies some of the defining characteristics and the differences that occur across the area.

View the characterisation study introduction and overview (895KB PDF file)

Part two - borough wide context

Part two looks at the Borough and its wider context, noting key features such as geology and land form, which have shaped its early development followed by later changes such as the creation of transport links and new urban centres.

View the characterisation study borough wide context (6MB PDF file)

Part three - typologies (building types)

Part three sets out an analysis of the key building types which are prevalent in Waltham Forest.

View the characterisation study typologies (2MB PDF file)

Part four - conclusions and recommendations

Part four provides a series of conclusions and recommendations drawn from the work following the detailed analysis of the area at every scale.

View the characterisation study conclusions and recommendations (4MB PDF file)

The appendix

The appendix provides detailed information on individual character areas which together make up the whole borough.

View the characterisation study appendix (4MB PDF file)

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Contact details

  • Urban Design

    Sycamore House Waltham Forest Town Hall Complex Forest Road
    E17 4SU
    Phone: 020 8496 3000