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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 Strategic Industrial Location (SIL) Framework was completed by Waltham Forest Council in collaboration with the GLA, landowners and businesses in March 2022. It was formally signed off by the GLA in June 2022. The final reports are now available to view below.

Baseline (stage 1)

This report compares the Blackhorse Lane SIL to other SILs across London, highlighting what makes it unique. It includes a review of existing building typologies and businesses on site and explores opportunities for industrial intensification and other future development.

View the baseline report (PDF)

Blackhorse Lane SIL Masterplan Framework (Stage 2)

This guidance has been created by Waltham Forest Council in collaboration with the GLA, landowners and businesses inside the SIL. It was also informed by local community workshops held in summer 2021. It has now been agreed with the GLA as part of a coordinated master planning process.  It builds on the initial opportunities explored in the Baseline (Stage 1) and provides key strategic guidance on: 

  • 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

Read the Blackhorse Lane SIL Masterplan Framework:

Frequently asked questions

What is a Strategic Industrial Location (SIL)?

Strategic Industrial Locations (SILs) are London’s main reservoirs of industrial and related capacity. They are formally protected through the planning process to provide specific industrial uses such as logistics, distribution and manufacturing.

What is industrial intensification?

Industrial intensification means increasing and improving industrial floor space. This can be either through the growth of existing businesses or developing new businesses in existing industrial locations. 

What have local businesses said?

Throughout our business engagement, businesses have told us:

  • That 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 of 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. That is why businesses have been consulted so extensively first to understand their needs and help inform the masterplan framework.

The masterplan framework sets out the continued need for landowners/developers to engage with businesses as they develop more detailed  masterplans for “sub areas” of the wider SIL and any subsequent detailed planning applications. The framework also establishes the council’s requirement for landowners/developers to develop site specific ‘Retention & Re-location Strategies’ for each sub area. These strategies will set out how businesses will be supported if relocation is required during development, and how they may be supported to return to the 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 will be defined in line with our emerging Local Plan Policy and existing evidence base.

Will there be tall buildings?

Blackhorse Lane is an area of strategic importance in the Borough and is designated as an area of ‘Transformation’ in the emerging Local Plan. We consider ‘Transformation’ areas to be suitable for delivering much needed growth in employment, housing and infrastructure provision. To help achieve this, the area has been deemed appropriate for buildings of 18 and over floors, subject to exceptional design quality and rigorously testing of impacts on the local skyline and environmental conditions.

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 and the adjacent businesses. 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 and allowing for its continued activity. This will be protected through good design to avoid conflict with both existing and potential new residential development.

The process of transformation will bring positive benefits for industry through providing modern premises which better meet their requirements and 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  proposed near industrial businesses, they must be designed to adhere to ‘Agent of Change’ principle which places the onus on the incoming use to design out any conflict where possible. Important considerations on this point are stated in the masterplan framework 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 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, appropriate contributions are secured sought from developers.  An example of this can be seen across Blackhorse Lane from the SIL at Sutherland Road, where a new GP surgery opened in May 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 Masterplan Framework will ensure there is a coordinated approach to industrial intensification and future growth in the area.

What happens next?

A private development team of NEAT and BlackRock are the first developers/landowners to formally engage with the Council in the SIL. They are developing proposals for their part of the SIL,  site  which is known as Uplands. We are expecting them to submit a planning application in Summer 2022. Further details are available on their website. Further details are available on the developer website. Once this application is submitted, it will be subject to full public consultation and comprehensive planning assessment.

If and/ or when other landowners bring forward development proposals in the SIL, these too will be subject to planning application and full public consultation.

We also plan to turn the Masterplan Framework into a formal planning document - known as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). This document requires statutory consultation with the community which will begin towards the end of 2022. The council will use existing communication channels to make sure you know when this happens.