Thursday, 21 April 2011

Walthamstow 2.0

At last the new Walthamstow town centre masterplan from Gort Scott (yes, yet another masterplan!) has been unveiled and is available online.

First impressions? Largely good ideas but they feel like pipe dreams - funding hasn't been identified so there's a sense that the council will cherry pick a couple of ideas it likes while ignoring the holistic vision.

Also unconvinced that expensive long-term ideas like removing the Hoe Street gyratory system or removing the bus station to make way for more open space will ever happen. So we definitely wouldn't want to see The Mall expand into a large section of the Town Square Gardens if there's no guarantee that we'll get more green space back in return. (And no, getting a poxy triangle of space by Tesco that used to be bus parking doesn't count!) Active frontages to make better use of existing buildings is a great idea though. And the scale of proposed development is generally reasonable, as long as the quality and content is good enough.

Now, who's going to start the "save the Town Square Gardens" campaign?

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