Last updated: 2 November 2023
Next review: 2 November 2024
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.
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
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 in the Spring, 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 will start on the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Garden and a new Sensory Garden.
The works will take place to the rear of the Town Hall and include upgrades to the stormwater drainage. This will reduce flooding across the site by linking into the new Sustainable Urban Drainage Wetlands on the western edge of Chestnuts Field.
Chestnuts Field will be open and accessible throughout the works but the access point through Fellowship Square, between the Town Hall and Chestnuts Field, will be closed until early 2024 from Monday 13 February 2023. Other access points at the Feel Good Centre and Spruce Hills Road will remain open.
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.