Consultation has opened this week on plans, backed by Turner prize winner Grayson Perry, to build innovative and affordable homes for artists in Barking town centre.

The proposal for the £3.5 million ‘artists’ house’ has been developed by Be First, Barking and Dagenham Council’s pioneering regeneration company, together with partners Create London. It will see 12 below market rate apartments constructed in Linton Road, Barking to provide homes for artists with workshops and a community arts space.

Pat Hayes, Managing Director for Be First, said: “Barking is fast becoming London’s hotspot for the creative industries which are being priced out of the capital, thanks to sky high rents in Hackney, Haggerston or Hoxton.

“This truly inspiring and affordable new development will allow artists to flourish here, to engage with local people and to strengthen to the fast-growing creative industries in this borough.”

Grayson Perry, who will help to develop a programme of activity for the artists, said: “This is a golden opportunity for artists who want to work with the public, with lovely studios available for six years. With the right artists working in a real place with real people, who knows where it will go? It’s a new artistic model.”

Hadrian Garrard, Director of Create London, said: “Barking has huge potential for providing space for artists and creative businesses in a way that really benefits local people and our hope is that this project provides a template for others to follow”.

The new proposals will be subject to planning approval by Barking and Dagenham Council and are open for consultation until 21 May.  A decision is expected in the late spring and, if successful, artists will be invited to apply over the summer.

The application can be viewed here or in the Be First offices.

Comments can be made online or by emailing planning@BeFirst.london