Last updated: 5 January 2024

Next review: 5 January 2025

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 a key part of the Council’s plans to ensure economic recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic and build confidence and resilience in the local economy and its wider London context.

Fellowship Square Winter Market

The Winter Market at Fellowship Square in December 2022

What is happening?

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

On Tuesday 7 September 2021, Waltham Forest Council's development partner, Countryside Properties, 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 a 365 day a year 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.

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
Computer Generated Image ariel view of completed Fellowship Square Phase 2

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


Phase 2: late 2022 to 2025

In January 2020, the Council announced leading UK developer Countryside as the delivery partner for phase 2 of the Fellowship Square project. On 7 September 2021, Countryside Properties were granted planning permission to move forward with phase 2, pending a s106 agreement.

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
  • High-quality new public realm including the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Garden behind the Town Hall along with improvements to the War Memorial to provide a better space for memorial events
  • 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. 

See how the works are progressing on our YouTube video.

A new Sustainable Urban Drainage Wetlands will be operational once planting is undertaken which will mitigate 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.

In February 2023, work began on a Commemorative Garden and a new Sensory Garden, both providing tranquil spaces for calm and reflection.

Fellowship Square Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Garden

Computer Generated Image of the new Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Garden.

Throughout 2023, Countryside Partnerships has been transforming the space at the back of the Town Hall to create the new gardens and improve access to Chestnuts Field.

Although Chestnuts Field has remained open throughout the works, access from the field to the Town Hall has been closed whilst these important works take place.  Access reopened between the Town Hall and the Feel Good Centre on Friday 22 December 2023. 

The FSQ gardens during construction in December 2023

A limited amount of protective fencing remains to protect the fresh soil so visitors must use the new all-weather footpath to access the Town Hall from Chestnuts Field. 

Step-free access will open in February 2024 and the gardens will open in spring 2024.

Please see the map below indicating the access route along the east wing of the Town Hall to Chestnuts Field.

Fellowship Square walking route through Chestnuts Field

Below: a current map of access to Chestnuts Field, December 2023

Fellowship Square Map December 2023

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.