A shopping arcade for Wanstead High Street?

Google StreetviewPlans have been submitted to Redbridge Council for permission to build a shopping arcade on Wanstead High Street.

The four-storey building would be on the site of the Jolliffe’s builder’s office, which has a large yard behind it – the arcade front on the High Street would link to a mall on the yard. The plan is for a number of shops, offices and restaurants, with six two-bedroom apartments above them. There would also be a three-storey mews building with a basement, in which would three “live work units”, six one-bedroom flats, and three studio apartments.

As George C Parker, Wansteadium’s property blogger noted here in July, the site was briefly offered for sale in July for £1.3m, but quickly disappeared from listings. It’s thought the small office was put up after the war, filling a hole left by a bomb.

The plan, submitted on behalf of Mammoth Texryte Limited of Ilford, says:

The resulting scheme seeks to add to the exciting village nature of Wanstead by providing letable units for local business, artists, entrepreneurs at an affordable starter rent, whilst creating a new adjunct to the street around a focused mall and courtyard hub, and new eco styled apartments within the village and related to this new hub.

The application also refers to the shortage of flats in Wanstead.

But it has not gone down well with the council’s planning officers. Principal Planner Mike Brown has recommended the application be refused, saying it was “seriously flawed”. One particular objection was that its four-storeys would contrast with three storeys to the right (Images in Frames) and two to the left (Wanstead Pharmacy).

He added this comment:

The council is inviting comments on the application on the Redbridge website here. (It is application number 2520/13 )
(Hat tip Rob Maitland.)
Top image Google Streetview, others from Redbridge-i.

18 thoughts on “A shopping arcade for Wanstead High Street?”

  1. For me, I don’t think this ‘adds’ to the exciting village nature of Wanstead, as a local resident it would be quite the opposite! Not sure we need a ‘Shopping Arcade’ on the High St, lived here for the last 3 years now supporting our High St and never felt we are short of any types of trade? I think we have a good balance and given we also have Westfield on our door step only 8 mins away (Central Line). Another mute point given my view above but I also wonder if this was allowed to go ahead how long the affordable starter rents would remain affordable given what I’ve seen happen elsewhere with affordable becoming a relative term proving to be anything but…. I’m in agreement with Mike Brown.

  2. No, no, no. Not needed, not necessary. Wanstead will be unrecognisable within 5 years, if this happens and the Evergreen debacle. The flats and retail outlet at the Snaresbrook end of the High Street haven’t been sold, nothing moving there and I don’t believe it will happen at this site. The Joliffe’s building is quirky, I love it, it suits our High Street. I so hope this doesn’t happen, it’s something I’m sure we’ll regret. Liz

  3. Excellent news. Jolliffe’s office is pretty scruffy and we could certainly do with some new shops to complement all our cafes and charity operations.
    Build it, I say.

  4. Why build something that is totally out of keeping of the buildings on either side – I agree with Mike Brown, why 4 storeys?
    Also what kind of shops? Independent or are we going to get more chains?
    Not convinced this is a good idea for the area.

  5. Why not use the space for an independent cinema or arts centre in Wanstead? It would be great to have something cultural rather than more coffee shops and hairdressers!

  6. No to the building too modern, now if the build was in keeping with a Village and depending on the arcade shops. Stitch is a great idea for Wanstead, Costa’s is not.
    The Barbers Shop is the sort of build that’s very ideal.

  7. I was only thinking the other day Jolliffe’s does look out of place. But there’s about 12-15 empty units currently along the High St; shouldn’t we try and fill them before building more shops? I can’t see how we need this arcade.

  8. I think Dan is spot on – let’s sort out the rest of the High St first. And hopefully with some more imaginative businesses, as I think our quota of charity shops, hair dressers/barbers is probably full… Wanstead needs variety – ‘Sumo Fresh’ is a great example of how successful a place can be if it’s offering something different, and they’ve pitched it just right for the area. (‘Dress2Party’ was ‘different’, but not in a good way – that was a serious misjudgement of the area/clientele…)

  9. I too have a soft-spot for the quirky little Jolliffe’s in our High Street, sadly now at the end of its borrowed time. Cue for a new aesthetically pleasing building which sits sensitively and comfortably amongst its neighbours. The new plans do not reflect this at all; it dominates and overpowers; the glass balconies and top-floor ‘penthouse’ look does not fit in with the rest of the street scene.

    I applaud the idea of incorporating ‘affordable’ units for small businesses and artists to rent, but in reality, would this really work… would we not just end up with sky-high rents and too-long leases, which only the larger chains could ultimately afford?

    I also note that no parking provision has been made, so as to ‘encourage use of public transport’. With planned shops, offices, restaurants, flats and live-work units, it doesn’t take a Parking Study to see how unrealistic this would be.

  10. It amuses me the way people suggest property use without any thought as who would pay for it. A cinema or arts centre? Well, YOU build it and make it pay and we’ll all applaud. In the meantime lets support the realistic efforts of real business people who understand what actually is likely to succeed.

  11. George Cuckfield is right. Forgive me, but there is naivety in some of the previous comments. Jolliffes is obviously a big site, and a good building plan is to be welcomed. This plan seems to be oversized and rather ill thought out, as the Planning Officer has said, and the developers are probably trying their luck with this first application. But please, no shopping arcade – these tend to end up as sad little places, witness two in George Lane in South Woodfrod where there is no natural footfall to draw people in and through. Bad idea in my opinion. Will follow this with interest though.

  12. on a different note, has anyone noticed the rumblings locally on the Central Line, it reminds me of the sound of the transportation of heavy ordnance i hope we are not at war with Walthamstow : (

  13. It’s actually a great idea,the possibility for start – up artisans to diversify our village without having to fork out a fortune for a Wanstead shop lease is exciting.
    Furthermore these individual and individualistic businesses trading in variable sized spaces counterbalances the recent horrible trend of soulless chain shops: Ugly ,brash chicken shop plastic tasteless coffee shops and now a burger shop is promised, none of these will enhance the area half so much as the propose artisan micro – village.Find out more about the proposal and you are likely to agree. Bryan

  14. I veer more towards the thoughts of Bryan. A scheme such as this could serve as a useful addition to the High St. I envisage small units such as arts, crafts, antiques etc. given the opportunity to trade in a location where ordinarily it would be impossible, ala Borough and Camden markets. Thereby creating a sort of village type feel. Anything to halt the relentless advance of the pound shop.

  15. Yes ,yes, yes, please yes!!!!!
    Ok…… A few trials may be required to get the design/content balance correct, but I could see this really working and if done correctly could only add to the area. As a Contemporary Goldsmith myself, I’d relish the opportunity to have a small bespoke workspace, a studio to make my creations as well as a wee shop window…. Perfect. There are very few places that nuture the independant and on such a fabulous High Street too, come on Wanstead, be different, don’t follow, lead!

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