The latest plan to boost Barking’s growing reputation as one of east London’s most vibrant town centres was given the green light at planning committee last night (18 March).

Proposals to demolish Crown House, Barking, and to redevelop the site and neighbouring Linton Road car park, were approved by councillors at the meeting.

The dated 1960’s office block will be replaced with 396 new homes in new high-rise buildings under plans submitted by Be First, the Council’s regeneration company, and Lightquote, leaseholder of the existing building. Be First will build 169 new affordable and shared ownership homes for the council, and Lightquote will build homes for private rent.

Cllr Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, said: “The proposals to demolish Crown House are a vital part of our plans to boost the provision of affordable homes and rejuvenate a neglected part of Barking town centre.

“The new development will create 396 top quality homes with 169 affordable and council owned apartments for local people. We are putting our money where our mouth is by building for the many and not the few.”

“In the town centre we need a genuine mix of housing which will provide a more vibrant, buzzing town centre. And, by offering a wide range of housing options, we are providing more opportunities for local families to put down their roots and call Barking & Dagenham home.”

Pat Hayes, Managing Director of Be First, said: “Crown House is one of many developments happening in the heart of Barking.

“With artists’ housing, new cinemas and genuinely affordable homes coming soon, we are building a better Barking for all.”

A spokesperson for Lightquote said: ““We’re delighted that this project has now been approved and we look forward to delivering a range of top-quality homes just yards from Barking station. Together with the improved public realm and commercial premises, it will give a real boost to the development of the town centre.”

The development of the Crown House site will deliver:

  • a 20 storey and a 29 storey tower flanked by ‘shoulder’ buildings
  • 169 low cost and affordable apartments and shared ownership flats in the new buildings on the Linton Road car park, made up of 80 one-bedroom, 71 two-bedroom and 18 three-bedroom flats
  • 95 one-bedroom and 132 two-bedroom flats for rent in the new building on the Crown House site
  • space for offices and shops
  • a public square, play facilities, a public pedestrian route and public realm and landscaping improvements

The development will retain the distinctive Grade II listed Tabernacle Church which is adjacent.

The plans will now be referred to the Mayor of London for approval.

Be First and Lightquote expect to appoint contractors in April.