Plans for ‘horrendous’ four-storey shopping centre in Wanstead High Street

Plans for a four-floor shopping centre in Wanstead High Street have been slammed as “horrendous” by one councillor.

Developers have applied for permission to demolish the one-storey J. Jolliffe building and build a complex with shops, restaurants, offices and 18 flats in its place.

The mall, including a “lower ground floor” basement excavation, would be in the heart of the Wanstead Village conservation area.

There would be an arcade-style entrance from the High Street leading to a larger mall area behind existing shops.

Proposed opening times are from 9-7pm Monday to Friday, until 8pm on Saturday and 6pm on Sunday.

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Restaurants would open even later – until 11pm seven days a week.

Cllr Sue Nolan said the “horrendous” plans would be out of keeping with the area.

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She added: “For a start I don’t think anything with four floors would even be considered – it would be complete over-development of that site.”

In a statutory reply to the planning application, conservation officer Mike Brown recommended Redbridge Council refuse the plans.

Calling building materials “clichéd” and “lacking quality and architectural design”, he added that finding space for a crane and other building equipment could pose a problem.

He wrote: “There is no sense of place nor of any discernible local character – the building could be plonked almost anywhere in urban England.

“In conclusion, this is a poor development in height, scale, bulk, shape and materials and would harm the special architectural or historic special interest of the Wanstead Village conservation area.”

What do you think about the plans? Would you like a new shopping centre or think it would be out of place?

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