A new era of quality affordable housing in the borough is truly underway, said Barking and Dagenham Council’s Cabinet member for regeneration this week.

Cllr Cameron Geddes was speaking after a site tour to see the latest phase of demolition get underway along Ripple Road on Barking’s Gascoigne Estate. It includes the iconic 12 storey tower block, Bamber House, overlooking the town centre.

Cllr Geddes, Cabinet Member Regeneration and Social Housing, was joined by Pat Hayes, Managing Director of Be First and Aaron Pearson, Operations Manager at construction firm, Willmott Dixon.

Cllr Geddes said: “Around 100 years ago Barking and Dagenham led the way in building affordable homes for ordinary Londoners and today we’re leading the way again. This year we will be starting to build over 700 quality homes on the Gascoigne Estate, and hundreds elsewhere in the borough.

“But it’s not just the start of the rebuilding of this estate it’s the beginning or a new era of quality affordable housing for working people of our borough.”

Pat Hayes, Be First’s Managing Director, said: “This year we will be pressing down hard on the accelerator to start building 3,000 affordable homes for the council and local people.”

Be First has teamed up with Willmott Dixon to provide time-lapse video footage of the work as it progresses.  Monthly updates will be available to watch here.

Many of Willmott Dixon’s team from the Aberfeldy Village regeneration work in nearby Tower Hamlets, as well as the recently completed Dudley House in Westminster, are now involved at Gascoigne Estate.

Chris Tredget, Managing Director for Willmott Dixon in London and East, said: “We are delighted to be bringing our regeneration skills to Barking and work alongside Be First to create a fantastic new living environment for hundreds of people on the east side of Gascoigne Estate.”

The plans for the Gascoigne estate include:

  • attractive, tree-lined public spaces, including an entirely new park – the 5,000 square metre Gascoigne Square – with public art and striking designs in a mixture of traditional and modern styles;
  • energy supplied by an array of rooftop photo-voltaic cells and connection to the district heating system, with energy savings expected to be 40% of CO2 emissions against the Building Regulations; and
  • pedal power will also have a big part to play as Be First plans to install over 1,000 cycle parking spaces, recognising both the low car ownership levels in the area, the convenience of nearby public transport and an ambition to encourage active travel in the borough.