Our aim is to ensure that growth supports the delivery of vital infrastructure and new facilities across the borough.

Waltham Forest has changed significantly in recent years, the number of people living in the borough has increased and businesses and jobs have grown rapidly.

To support this, we have adopted a clear strategy to provide infrastructure in the right place, of the best quality and to meet the challenges of rapid growth. This will cover everything from schools and education development, health centres, transport, superfast broadband, public realm and green spaces.

Read our full Economic Growth Strategy 2016-20 (pdf 902KB)

Priority actions Click to get info

Our key actions for realising this strategy are:

  1. Capitalise on the development opportunities afforded by the reopening of Lea Bridge Station.
  2. Develop an Integrated Infrastructure Plan and funding strategy for the borough and work with partners to deliver this strategy.
  3. Update the Local Plan, s106 and CIL policies to take account of economic growth in the borough, including increased land values and infrastructure requirements.
  4. Develop a Waltham Forest Transport Plan that will set out the council’s ambition for transport investment in the borough.
  5. Work with the broadband providers to invest in superfast broadband services to all business locations.
  6. Adopt a vision and capture the opportunities to develop ‘community hubs’ where infrastructure is co-located in accessible locations.
  7. Communicate clearly to developers the borough’s infrastructure requirements and develop new ways of responding to the identified needs and aspirations.
  8. Introduce an Infrastructure Delivery Accreditation Scheme for developers.
  9. Develop a strategy to work with the third sector and support their role in infrastructure provision.

Mini Holland

Waltham Forest was one of three London boroughs awarded £30 million to fund a Mini Holland cycling programme, launched in September 2016.

Designed to radically improve the borough’s cycling infrastructure and support a step change in the numbers of local people choosing to cycle, the programme also promotes walking.

These pedestrianised areas will create a huge improvement to public spaces and make getting around on foot easier and safer.  Increased footfall will boost local businesses and lower congestion on the roads also means cleaner air quality for all.

Lea Bridge Station re-opened

The new Lea Bridge road station opened to passengers in May 2016 after 31 years of closure. With direct links to Stratford and Tottenham, the station will open up the area for residents and businesses in the borough.

The project was funded by £5.3 million of council funding, £1.1 million from Department of Transport's New Stations Fund and £5.5 million from Section 106 contributions.

TFL estimates 352,000 passengers a year will use the station by 2031.

Night tube launched

Launched in August 2016, the night tube serves four major stations in Waltham Forest on the Central and Victoria lines, including Walthamstow Central.

New and improved leisure centres

The rebuilt Waltham Forest Feel Good Centre opened in September 2016 and is one of the biggest facilities of its kind in London.

Along with everything that you would expect from a brand new leisure centre, it includes an extreme sports zone with climbing wall, over 130 pieces of gym equipment and a 25 metre, eight-lane competition pool. There is also a steam room and spa pool, fitness studios, relaxation lounge, treatment rooms and a crèche facility.

Improvements works were made to Chingford Leisure Centre this summer with an investment of £220,000.

New changing facilities were installed, shower cubicles relocated and replacements made to floor, wall and ceiling tiles throughout the venue.

Refurbishment of libraries

£1.5 million refurbishment to Leytonstone Library was completed in August 2015, as part of the council’s £5 million upgrade of Library Plus facilities across the borough. Brand new PCs were installed with fast and reliable internet and Wi-Fi, along with a dedicated children’s storytelling area.

Read more about the Library Plus improvement programme

Medical centre upgrade

Work was completed this summer on a £500,000 upgrade to Handsworth Avenue Medical Centre, Highams Park, to help new and existing residents access medical care.

The centre now features an additional three consulting rooms, extra treatment room, training room and other new facilities to benefit patients and staff.

Walthamstow Wetlands

Walthamstow Wetlands is Europe’s largest urban wetland nature reserve. In October 2017 the site opened its gates to the wider public for the very first time in 150 years and is now open 363 days a year with free access.

Although Walthamstow Wetlands continues to function as a Thames Water operational site supplying 3.5 million people with clean drinking water each day, the site is also a nature reserve and a special home to wildlife both resident and rare.

The council has delivered the project in partnership with site owners Thames Water, Heritage Lottery Fund, the Greater London Authority, the Environment Agency and Natural England. In addition, the London Wildlife Trust was also appointed to deliver a conservation programme which includes community engagement, training and volunteer programmes.



Future plans Click to get info

The council is working with partners to deliver additional infrastructure, including:

New station upgrades

To help increase capacity on public transport in Walthamstow, new trains and station upgrades will be coming to the Wood Street, Walthamstow Central, Queens Road and St James Street stations from 2018.

Chingford to Liverpool Street line

From 2018, there will be new trains and improvements made to all stations along the Chingford to Liverpool Street line. 

Four-car electric trains will begin running to bring you a faster, greener, quieter and more reliable journey to and from London.

Electric trains provide more seats and improved reliability, shortened travel times, and more comfortable journeys. They also produce 20-35 per cent lower carbon emissions than diesel trains, helping to improve the quality of life for people living near the railway.

Campaign for a new hospital at Whipps Cross

The council, along with the local CCG and Barts NHS Trust, is campaigning for a new hospital to be built at Whipps Cross.

The current hospital is over one hundred years old and the borough needs a new modern facility to meet the needs of local people.

How will we pay for it? Click to get info

The new infrastructure will be funded through various different sources, e.g. TfL capital programme. 

The council secures money through: