You are here:

Montague estate set for major transformation

The fate of two of Waltham Forest’s best-known tower blocks has been decided, promising hundreds of overcrowded residents the high quality, family sized homes they urgently need.


For years the two towers on Leytonstone’s Montague Estate have become well known landmarks on Waltham Forest’s skyline; both in need of major work to bring them up to a suitable standard for the people who call them home.


After discussing three potential options for the future of the site, Waltham Forest Council’s Cabinet agreed today (Tuesday 11 November) to completely refurbish both towers, and create a new block of housing between the two.


Completely stripping both towers back to their concrete frames, the move means that a number of the smaller run-down Council homes on site can rebuilt as larger, high quality family homes, providing more homes that actually meet residents’ needs by offering more space and bedrooms. 40 shared ownership homes will also be available for people needing a helping hand with getting on the property ladder.


Cllr Khevyn Limbajee, Cabinet Member for Housing said: “This is fantastic news as residents have been complaining about the quality of their housing for some time and over half of people currently living on the estate are overcrowded.


“The majority of people living there have told us they want to see major change. This decision means we can get started on transforming the estate to give people a better standard of living, and move people from their small, cramped homes, to new, high quality, family homes.”


As part of the works, both blocks will be made more energy efficient to help lower residents’ bills and each home will benefit from a new bathroom and kitchen, designed to modern standards, and an improved living space and balcony. Landscaping will make the estate’s public areas more attractive and a new block of homes, to be built between the two towers, will mean that most residents will not need to leave the site during the work. The scheme will also make the estate more secure, with a new door entry system and design features aimed at reducing crime and antisocial behaviour, after residents made it clear that enhanced security was a top priority.


Funded through a combination of grant funding, investment resources in the Council’s Housing Revenue Account and sales from private homes which will be built on the site, the scheme is expected to start next Autumn and be finished by 2021.


It was chosen by Cabinet over two other options – minimal refurbishment which would have meant more works are needed in a few years, and completely demolishing and rebuilding the blocks which would have proved too costly, disruptive to residents and unnecessary as the two towers are currently structurally sound.


The scheme is just one part of the Council’s commitment to improving housing across the board for residents – from Council accommodation to private sector rented housing. Over the next five years the Council is planning for 8,000 new homes - half of which will be affordable – and is ensuring that any new homes built on Council owned land, are Council owned homes.


-ENDS-


1. For more information contact Emily Blackshaw, Waltham Forest Council press office, on 020 8496 4445 or email Emily.blackshaw@walthamforest.gov.uk


2. 70 per cent of residents took part in a housing survey and the majority of them wanted ‘major intervention’ to address housing issues on site, for example 75 per cent of residents stated that that were in favour of demolition. 56 per cent of residents were found to be living in overcrowded conditions.


3. Full details of the three options being considered are available at http://democracy.walthamforest.gov.uk/documents/s42892/Montague%20Road%20Cabinet%20Report%2011%2011%2014%20FINALv2.pdf

If you would like more information about any of these press releases or have a different media enquiry please contact us at media@walthamforest.gov.uk or on 020 8496 4521 / 4802.

For out of hours please email media@walthamforest.gov.uk or call 07966 915 157.