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Nine-screen cinema and new housing approved for Walthamstow

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Nine-screen cinema and new housing approved for Walthamstow

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Local Government

Nine-screen cinema and new housing approved for Walthamstow Nine-screen cinema and new housing approved for Walthamstow

Plans for a nine-screen cinema and new housing in the heart of Walthamstow have been approved by Waltham Forest Council.

The multi-use application from Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association (ISHA) and the Hill Group on the Arcade site at the top of Walthamstow High Street includes the cinema complex, shops, restaurants, new housing and improvements to the public areas around the site.

Not only is Waltham Forest one of the only London boroughs currently without a cinema, but the Arcade site has been empty for almost as long as the borough has been without a picture house.

The decision to approve the application is dependent the completion of a legal agreement and subject to ratification from the Greater London Authority.

Waltham Forest Council leader Chris Robbins, said: "The council has made regeneration a priority and the decision by the Planning Committee last night is just the latest development to result from the hard work we have been doing to try to help make Waltham Forest a better place to live.

"I firmly believe that this borough is brimming with potential and deserves more. We’ve done a lot of work to assess what local people want and I can tell you that time and again when we ask residents what the borough needs, local people tell us they want to see a cinema.

"I’m sure the prospect of this multiplex will be very exciting to a lot of the residents of the borough, not to mention the new restaurants and shops and the 121 new homes that will be created alongside it."

The cinema will be run by the UK’s largest independently owned cinema chain, Empire Cinemas, and will be able to seat 1,200 film-goers.

According to ISHA, the scheme will also introduce "a new standard of living for Walthamstow" with 121 private and affordable homes that have been designed to Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

Colin Archer, Director of Development at ISHA, added: "ISHA and Hill Residential are delighted that the plans have been approved, allowing us to deliver this exciting scheme which will boost Walthamstow’s economy through the creation of a new living and leisure quarter at the heart of the town centre."

The development is expected to act as a catalyst for the ongoing regeneration of the town centre, stimulating the night time economy and providing a new gateway to Walthamstow High Street.

The council says it continues to support Waltham Forest Cinema Trust in their bid to restore the EMD Cinema on Hoe Street to an entertainment venue. The building is currently owned by a religious organisation and a public inquiry into their plans for the building that ended in December is expected to make public a decision in the spring.

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