Plans to refurbish Barking station look to retain its Roman heritage

Residents have been urged to give their views on plans to refurbish Barking Station by Be First planners today.

The proposals from C2C look to retain the Grade II listed building’s roof which was closely modelled on Italy’s best-known railway station, the iconic 50s modernist structure Roma Termini.

Caroline Harper, Be First’s Chief Planning Director, said: “There’s no doubt Barking station is in need of refurbishment and improvements, especially to address the congestion problems.

“And they also help our wider ambitious plans to create a vibrant, buzzing Barking town centre.”

The plans from C2C aim to:

  • establish better passenger movement through the station
  • improve the layout and quality of the retail spaces
  • improve the location of the existing ticket barrier and reinstate the second gate-line that was in the original 1959 layout
  • tidy up and enhance the building’s appearance

If you want  to make a comment please see here.

The consultation ends on 11 March.

Building better homes for aspirational working people

Demolition of an old 1960s block in Barking, east London, is now underway to make way for over 90 quality affordable homes for local people.

And to see how the works are coming along was Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Cllr Darren Rodwell and Be First’s Tom Mather.

Cllr Rodwell said: “It’s great to see the demolition is underway because it’s another sign that we’re building on our record of providing homes for aspirational working-class residents.

“We are proud of our record of that we’re building up to 80 per cent of our homes at affordable prices for people on low incomes.

“This is among the highest in London.”

Tom Mather, Construction Director at Be First, which is developing the new homes, said: “Building these new affordable homes is just the start of our ambitious programme.

“We are now moving into the fast lane on our mission to build thousands of new, affordable homes for local people.”

William Jerram, Managing Director of Jerram Falkus, who are the project builders, said, “We are delighted to have commenced works on site at the Sebastian Court development.

“This will be our first project with Be First but is a continuation of a long established relationship delivering projects in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. We look forward to working together in partnership to construct new quality homes in the area”.

Consultation on the plans for the new development will commence in March and the final planning application is expected to be submitted to the council’s planning committee in the summer.  Details here.

Hear what the Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Cllr Darren Rodwell, has to say here.

Over the next four years Be First will be delivering up to 2,700 homes for local people and around 80 per cent will be affordable.

Billion-pound builders ready to deliver thousands of affordable homes

Seven firms who have recently won the right to be part of Be First’s billion-pound Construction Framework are ready to pick up the pace of delivering thousands of affordable homes in London’s growth borough.

The seven; McLaren Construction Ltd, Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd, Wates Residential, J. Murphy & Sons Ltd, Jerram Falkus Construction Ltd, Mulalley & Company Ltd and United Living (South), told Be First directors at a special conference at the firm’s Barking HQ, they are committed to help Be First’s mission to deliver inclusive regeneration in Barking and Dagenham over the next four years.

Iain Ferguson, Commercial Director at Be First said: “We and our colleagues on our framework will deliver on our commitment to build thousands of affordable homes for local people.

“We are moving into the fast lane in delivering some of the most exciting developments in east London.”

The seven construction firms will be the builders of development and infrastructure projects worth around £1 billion.

‘We’re putting a roof over local people’s heads’

Ninety-two new homes for local homeless people will be built at pace on a former weighbridge after councillors gave the thumbs up to plans at Barking and Dagenham Council’s planning committee last week.  

The new modular built homes will be delivered at the site in Cook Road, Dagenham, before the end of the year.  

Councillor Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council said: “These new homes will house local homeless people.  

“And as they are modular and largely built off site quickly it means a local homeless person or family will have a decent roof over their heads by Christmas. 

“We are proud we will be building up to 80 per cent of our homes at affordable prices for local people, which is way above the GLA target.” 

The homes feature 24 one-bedroom flats, 36 two-bedroom flats and 32-three-bedroom homes. They will also house local people on a temporary basis who have been registered homeless in the borough.  

Tom Mather, Construction Director at Be First, said: “We’re going to get moving fast on this project as well as others. Be First is about delivering at pace for the benefit of the people of Barking and Dagenham.” 

Be First will be delivering nearly 2,680 homes over the next four years in which 80 per cent will be affordable – which is way above the 50 per cent GLA target. 

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Take art to the heart of Barking

Ambitious artists and creative organisations have just days left to bid to secure a lease of a new arts space in the heart of London’s latest creative hotspot.

Be First launched its ‘Art in the Heart’ competition last month, calling for organisations and artists who would like to take on the 400 sqm space on the ground-floor of one of the stunning new towers in the Swan Housing’s 360 Barking development in Cambridge Road.

And backing the project is iconic artist and east ender, David Bailey.

He said: “This is an interesting project. Bringing art to the heart of places like Barking keeps art, relevant and real. The east end has always had heart, and art needs the east end.”

Councillor Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for ambitious artists who share our ambition to make sure Barking and not Berlin is where it’s at in the arts world.”

David Harley, Be First’s Head of Regeneration, explains: “We want to hear from people who want help us build on Barking and Dagenham’s reputation as London’s latest creative hotspot.

“They should bring art to the heart of Barking by running the arts space for local residents to weave creativity into the fabric of our community.”

Geoff Pearce Executive Director of Regeneration and Development at Swan Housing Association, added: “Ensuring there was creative space for local artists, was at the heart of our design and development of 360 Barking along with much needed affordable homes.

“We are delighted to help promote and support this fantastic opportunity for local artists and to have contributed to the borough’s ambitions to be London’s newest destination for the creative industries.”

The winner of the competition will be selected in the Spring but the deadline to send in an application ends on 15 February.

Applicants will have to demonstrate how they will run the creative hub for the benefit of the wider community.

As part of the winning package they will receive a £250,000 fit out grant to get them started.

For more information go to www.befirst.london/artintheheart