Permission was granted for more than 200 new homes in Barking and Dagenham at planning committee last night (10 December 2018).

Councillors approved three very different schemes proposed by Be First, the borough’s pioneering regeneration company, each set to provide affordable homes for local people.

  • The first project, planned for the site of the old Abbey Sports Centre at Axe Street in Barking, is a joint venture with Lindhill Properties which will deliver 170 apartments with at least 35 per cent at below market rate, as well as a new two screen cinema run by operators Arthouse.
  • The second will provide six flats with associated parking and landscaping on a largely disused garage site at Mellish Close in Barking.  The new one, two and three bedroom flats will be for rent to council tenants and constructed using modular construction techniques. It is the second time the council has approved this method of construction in the borough.
  • The third approval was given for the renovation of the Sacred Heart Convent at Goresbrook Road in Dagenham.  The plans for this long-vacated convent will provide nine flats in the 1930’s-built building itself and 20 new houses in the grounds.  All the new homes will be let at below market rents.

Director of Be First, Pat Hayes said: “We’re now stepping up the pace of our programme to build much-needed new homes for the borough in a wide range of styles and types.  What they all have in common is high quality and low rents for local people. And, that’s a combination that we’re determined to deliver more of in the next few years.”