Blackhorse Lane masterplan


The masterplan process of Blackhorse Lane is seen as proactive step in the councils COVID-19 Recovery Plan in the medium to long term. It aims to safeguard the future success of the area and maximise its potential for the local community and the wider economy.

This is a process that Waltham Forest Council is undertaking in collaboration with the Mayor of London to protect and support the borough’s industrial areas to ensure they are optimised. The process will also assist with the Council’s long term growth ambitions for the borough. Industrial land in London has become scarcer in recent years, making it important to address this issue now and protect it across Waltham Forest. The masterplan will set a framework to overcome delivery challenges relating to the complex and diverse ownership that typifies SILs.

Waltham Forest is also undertaking a similar exercise for the LB SIL. Like at Lea Bridge, this will involve consulting with landlords, landowners, businesses and local residents to help inform the masterplan for Blackhorse Lane.

We are working on a shared vision and urban principles safeguard the future of the SIL. A coordinated plan across the whole SIL, including:

  • Streets and urban blocks
  • Scale and massing principles
  • Access and servicing principles
  • Public realm strategy
  • Create high-quality industrial space that can support growth of existing businesses, increase long term security and stability.
  • Developing a strategy for retaining existing businesses and providing modern fit for purpose industrial floorspace
  • Strategy for integrating new compatible uses that integrate better with the wider neighborhood and support more local footfall
  • Sustainability strategy (energy, health and wellbeing)
  • A vibrant, creative neighborhood that can accommodate other compatible uses, such as homes and workspace

Meaningful engagement is critical for the success of the masterplan process as it informs the framework and design process. Initially we want to understand businesses current needs and future ambitions to imbed in the masterplan a framework to support their future growth. Business engagement feedback and input will inform the design process of the masterplan at a number of points. Wider community consultation will come at a later stage.

What happens when? Click to get info

  • February to  April 2021: Engagement with business
  • Second Half 2021: Outline masterplan

Industrial intensification means increasing industrial floor space, either through the growth of existing businesses, or the development of new businesses in existing industrial locations. It is a process that looks to the future of how industry will look and work in Waltham Forest and across the rest of London. Industrial intensification can be delivered through mixing of industrial uses, sharing of spaces and servicing, and exploring new stacked industrial typologies, whilst also considering the potential to incorporate other uses on the same site.

Throughout our business engagement to date, businesses have told us:

  • They are open minded about new types of industrial space, like multi level buildings and sharing service yards
  • That there is a lack of amenity space and facilities for visitors and staff, like places to eat and spend free time
  • That they value the public transport connections and other benefits if the location of the site.

An online event for the wider community is planned for Thursday 22 April.

Please get in touch if you would like to hear more about our plans and take part.

Keeping you informed Click to get info

For more information on the Blackhorse Lane masterplan, please contact:

Masterplan project manager Patrick Shannon:

FAQ's Click to get info

How will the mix of businesses be protected in the blackhorse lane sil?


  • The wide mix of businesses on site is what makes the Blackhorse Lane (BHL) SIL unique and attracts other businesses to the area. The council wants to work with landowners to retain existing businesses and to support their growth. Through the preparation of masterplan framework for the Blackhorse Lane SIL the council is able to set a framework to guide any future development proposals whilst protecting existing businesses. . The masterplan framework set out the need for landowners/developers to work with the council to develop a ‘Retention & Re-location Strategy’ for their site should redevelopment proposals come forward which sets out how businesses will be supported through this process.
  • LBWF has also designated the area a Creative Enterprise Zone (CEZ) due to it increasingly being home to a diverse mix of uses and businesses – this designation will help support a vibrant mix of businesses within the area.

How will the area stay affordable for local businesses?

  • Any new development will have to provide a certain level of affordable workspace. This will be established on a site-by-site basis and cover a range of different spaces to meet business needs. The amount of space and price per s/ft will be defined in line with emerging Local Plan 1 policy and existing evidence base.

How will tall buildings be controlled?

  • This area is of strategic importance to the Council and is being designated as an area of ‘transformation’ as set out in the emerging Local Plan 1. Transformation areas are capable of delivering much needed growth in employment, housing and infrastructure provision. To help achieve this, the area has been deemed appropriate for buildings of 18 floors +, subject to compliance with local and London Plan policy.
  • The masterplan sets out a rigorous list of criteria that all proposals for tall buildings in this location will be assessed against to ensure they are well placed and appropriate in placemaking terms and do not adversely affect the site or surrounding context.

How will the council manage potential conflict between residential and industrial uses?

  • The area is designated as a Strategic Industrial Location. This means that the Mayor and Waltham Forest must “promote, manage and, where appropriate, protect the strategic industrial locations (SILs)… as London’s main reservoirs of industrial and related capacity.”
  • In effect, the whole SIL area (and each landholding within it) must ensure that there is no net loss of industrial floorspace before the introduction of other uses such as residential will be considered.
  • New industrial floorspace will need to be of high-quality design that meets current and future business needs. Where residential uses are proposed, careful consideration will be required to ensure that these uses do not compromise the existing or potential industrial activities within Blackhorse Lane SIL – this is known as the to ‘Agent of Chance principle’. Particular attention will need to be given to the design of these uses including layout, access, orientation, servicing, public realm, air quality and soundproofing.
  • The masterplan framework does seek to facilitate a distinction between the two with industrial intensification to the north and east of the SIL (areas which are better served by Strategic Road network) and new uses focused in the south and west, closest to Blackhorse Road Station and Walthamstow Wetlands.

How will local infrastructure cope with any new development?

  • Infrastructure planning (GPs, road capacity, education, energy, transport etc) is a critical component of being able to deliver the sustainable good growth of new places that meet people’s everyday needs. Existing infrastructure is frequently reviewed and tested against any emerging developments.
  • Key stakeholders (including the NHS and TfL) are made aware of forth coming development to help them review their capacity in line with any future growth. Where investment in infrastructure is needed contributions are sought from developers to fund or deliver the improvements. An example of this can be seen across from the Blackhorse Lane SIL at Sutherland Road where a new GPs has been delivered to meet an increase in local need. Lease contracts have been signed by the GP Practice and NHS. Fitout works will be commencing shortly with a target completion of January 2022.

When will development happen?

  • Whilst the Council has some landownership within the Blackhorse Lane SIL, the majority of land is owned privately and therefore development is dependent on individual landowners. To ensure there is a coordinated approach to industrial intensification and future growth, the council (in consultation with landowners) has been preparing the BHL SIL Masterplan Framework.
  • NEAT / BlackRock are the first landowner to formally engage with the Council with development which aligns with the masterplan for their site known as Uplands.
  • NEAT / BlackRock are bringing forward a planning application for their site and held an initial consultation event earlier this year to discuss the proposals with businesses, landowners and the wider community. A further round of engagement is planned later this year and development in this area is not foreseen until 2024 at the earliest. Further details can be found on the development website

What happens next?

  • There will be more chances to get involved with the council planning further engagement activities in the first half of 2022 as part of the preparation of a formal planning document known as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for the BHL SIL. We would encourage you to get involved and will provide further details using the existing communication channel to let you know when these events will be happening.
  • As individual landowners bring forward development proposals you will be able to give your feedback on site specific applications. NEAT / BlackRock are bringing forward a planning application for their site and are planning a second public consultation event with businesses, landowners and the wider community later this year. Further details can be found on the development website