People relaxing in fellowship square with stalls in the background

The Fellowship Square programme is a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a new neighbourhood and cultural centre in the heart of the borough. Located on the town hall site on Forest Road, the programme has refurbished and regenerated the much-loved historic buildings that make up the town hall complex and opened up the site to the community. In doing so, it has transformed the way the Council operates and delivers services to Waltham Forest residents.

Fellowship Square is building on the legacy of Waltham Forest being the first ever Mayor’s London Borough of Culture in 2019. It is providing opportunities for new leisure, entertainment and learning spaces, shops and cafes, and providing jobs for local people and brand new, affordable homes prioritised for Waltham Forest residents.

Computer Generated Image ariel view of completed Fellowship Square Phase 2

Computer Generated Image of Fellowship Square after completion of Phase 2 works

What is happening?

Phase 2: late 2022 to 2025

In January 2020, the Council announced leading UK developer Countryside Partnerships as the delivery partner for Phase 2 of the Fellowship Square project. 

On 7 September 2021, Countryside Partnerships were granted planning permission to move forward with Phase 2.

The next phase of the ambitious programme includes hundreds of new jobs, including during construction and supply chain opportunities, as well as a programme for schools and colleges to visit and learn about apprenticeships and training opportunities.

Additionally, the programme will deliver:

  • 433 new, high-quality homes prioritised for local people, with 50 per cent affordable by habitable room. Eleven per cent of these homes will be wheelchair adaptable homes
  • A new Civic building with ground floor café/restaurant space opening onto Fellowship Square
  • New high-quality public spaces including the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Garden behind the Town Hall 
  • New landscaped gardens with over 200 new trees and play facilities on Chestnuts Field alongside an all-weather path around the perimeter of the field and a new Sensory Garden
  • A Sustainable Urban Drainage Wetlands on the western edge of Chestnuts Field, improving biodiversity and providing ecological benefits
  • A new crèche/nursery space
  • A new shop/commercial space
  • Car-free residential development with improved pedestrian and cycling routes from Forest Road and throughout the site

Demolition of The Magistrates and Sycamore House was completed in September 2022 to enable the delivery of much-needed new homes, half of which are affordable. 

Read about how Fellowship Square is creating job opportunities for local residents.

See the demolition of the Magistrates Court and progress on our YouTube video.

Delivered in 2024

A new Sustainable Urban Drainage Wetlands mitigates flooding across the site whilst simultaneously increasing biodiversity and creating new habitats for wildlife. A new all-weather path linking the site to the Feel Good Centre is complete.

The space at the back of the Town Hall has been transformed from a former car park to the Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Garden and Sensory Garden, both providing tranquil spaces for calm and reflection with over 60 new trees planted. You may have noticed the installation of a sculpture in April, The Arch by Henry Moore, which is finding its home here in Waltham Forest for the next four years. 

Information panels tell the story of the gardens and The Arch, including the original five relief sculptures on the north face of the Town Hall by John Frances Kavanagh. Find out more about the Henry Moore sculpture.

Step-free access from Fellowship Square to Chestnuts Field has opened, providing improved pedestrian and cycle routes across the site.

Fellowship Square after the gardens were completed in spring 2024

The new gardens at the back of the Town Hall including the The Arch and the new residential building on the left.

A drone image of Fellowship Square before the gardens were installed

Fellowship Square before the gardens were installed.

What's happened so far

On Tuesday 7 September 2021, Waltham Forest Council's development partner, Countryside Partnerships, secured planning permission to move forward with the transformation of the Town Hall Campus to create a brand-new neighbourhood and cultural hub in the heart of the borough, completing the Council’s vision of a distinct, welcoming civic space and cultural venue. Find out what's on in Walthamstow.

The development will continue to build on the success of the first phase of works that was completed in July 2021 seeing the historic Grade II listed Town Hall fully refurbished and the creation of Fellowship Square. The state-of-the-art water feature has been hugely popular with residents and visitors, hosting a series of free summer events and activities, and sees hundreds of visitors each day.

People doing yoga at Fellowship Square with arms outstretched.

Residents at a Yoga session in Fellowship Square

The first phase of works at Fellowship Square has been recognised with the following awards:

  • RIBA East London Regional Award 2023
  • Civic Trust Awards 2023
  • Landscape Institute Awards 2022 - Excellence in Landscape Construction
  • SPACES Awards 2022 - Civic Building of the Year
  • SPACES Awards 2022 - Heritage Category
  • Waltham Forest Design Awards 2022

Have your say and get involved

As Phase Two progresses, Waltham Forest Council will continue engaging with local residents and the community to gain essential feedback on the transformation. Countryside will be working alongside the Council for the remainder of the redevelopment, ending in 2025.

Project Team