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Blackhorse Lane masterplan

Read about our plans to protect the Blackhorse Lane strategic industrial location, as part of our Covid-19 Recovery Plan.

The Blackhorse Lane masterplan is part of our overall Covid-19 recovery plans.

Our aim is to safeguard the area's future success and maximise its potential for the local community and wider economy.

We are working together with the Mayor of London to protect and support the borough's industrial areas. This will also support our ambitions for long-term growth. Industrial land in London has become scarcer in recent years. That means it's important to protect it now.

What we plan

We are working on a shared vision and urban principles to protect the future of this strategic industrial location (SIL). Our plans include: 

  • Streets and urban blocks
  • Scale and massing principles
  • Access and servicing principles
  • Public realm strategy
  • Create high-quality industrial space that can support the 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 neighbourhood and support more local footfall
  • Sustainability strategy (energy, health and wellbeing)
  • A vibrant, creative neighbourhood that can accommodate other compatible uses, such as homes and workspace

Timeline and engagement

For the masterplan to succeed, meaningful engagement is vital, as it helps shape the framework and design process.

We first want to understand businesses' current needs and their ambitions to embed a framework to support their future growth. Business engagement feedback and input will shape the design process of the masterplan at a number of points.

Wider community consultation will come later.


  • February to  April 2021: Engagement with business
  • Thursday 22 April: Online community engagement event
  • Second Half 2021: Outline masterplan

What is industrial intensification?

Industrial intensification means increasing industrial floor space. This can be either through the growth of existing businesses, or developing new businesses in existing industrial locations. This process offers a future glimpse of how industry will look and work in Waltham Forest and across the rest of London.

What businesses have told us

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.


How will the mixture of businesses be protected in the Blackhorse lane sil?

  • The wide mix of businesses on site is what makes the Blackhorse Lane SIL unique and attracts other businesses to the area. Therefore, businesses have been consulted first to understand their needs which have helped inform the framework. This early masterplan framework sets out the continued need for landowners/developers to engage with businesses as more detailed subarea masterplans and detailed applications are developed. The framework also establishes the council’s requirement for landowners/developers to develop a site specific ‘Retention & Re-location Strategy’ for each sub-area. This piece of work sets out how businesses will be supported during development if relocation is required and how they may be supported to return to site after development occurs.

How will the area stay affordable for local businesses?

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

How will tall buildings be controlled?

  • This area is of strategic importance in the Borough and is designated as an area of ‘Transformation’ in the emerging Local Plan 1 (Strategic Policies) and Part 2 (Site Allocations). Areas designated for ‘Transformation’ 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+ storeys, 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 of the highest quality design, well placed and appropriate in placemaking terms and do not adversely affect the rest of the site or surrounding context.

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

  • Lessons have been learned from the relationship between the housing zone to the south of the SIL along Hookers Road. However, it is important to remember that given its planning status as a SIL, priority needs to be given to the provision and protection of space for industry allowing for continued activity. The needs of industry in terms of space and operations will be protected through good design to avoid conflict with both existing and potential new residential development. The process of transformation should be seen as a positive benefit for industry through providing modern premises which meet requirements and also through being designed with their relationship to the wider context, including nearby homes and other more sensitive uses, in mind. If other uses including residential are co-located near the industrial element they must be designed to adhere to ‘Agent of Change’ principle which places the onus on the incoming use to design out the conflict where possible. Important considerations on this point are stated in the masterplan framework document and align with London Plan Policy.

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 are made aware of forthcoming development to help them review their capacity. Where investment in infrastructure is needed contributions are sought from developers to fund or deliver the improvements to meet the infrastructure need. An example of this can be seen across the Blackhorse Lane SIL at Sutherland Road where a new GP surgery has been delivered to meet the increase in local need. Lease contracts have been signed by the GP Practice and NHS with fitout works will be commencing shortly with a target completion of January 2022.

When will development happen?

  • Whilst the Council has some land ownership within the Blackhorse Lane SIL, the majority of land is owned privately and therefore development is dependent on individual landowners coming forward with proposals. The Blackhorse Lane SIL Masterplan Framework, prepared in consultation with business and landowners, will ensure there is a coordinated approach to industrial intensification and future growth in the area.
  • NEAT / BlackRock are the first developer/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 events earlier this year to discuss their initial proposals with businesses, landowners and the wider community. A further round of engagement is planned later this year. Details are on Future of uplands.

What happens next?

  • Consultation has begun on the Local Part 2 (Site Allocations) which you can find on our local plan page. Please feel free to go online and give your feedback on SA69 Blackhorse Lane SIL.
  • The engagement on the SIL wide masterplan has now completed. There will be more chances to get involved as this document is turned into a formal planning document known as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). This document requires statutory consultation with the community which will happen in first half of 2022 which we encourage you to get involved with. The council will use existing communication channels to make you aware of when this happens.
  • As individual landowners bring forward development proposals in the area you will be able to give your feedback on site specific applications. NEAT/BlackRock are working on a planning application for their site and are planning a second public consultation event with businesses, landowners and the wider community later this year. Details are on Future of uplands.
  • How can I have my say on local plan part? (Site Allocations)