Thumbs up for more affordable homes

Plans to build 150 new affordable homes were given the go ahead by councillors following a planning meeting last night (23 March).

The new council owned homes will replace 58 homes on sites in Roxwell Road and Stebbing Way, and at the junction of Oxlow Lane and Rainham Road North.   

Councillor Cameron Geddes, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Social Housing, said: “These plans will enable more local people to live in a modern, affordable home rather than pay sky high rents in the private sector.

“These progressive plans are further proof that this council is true to its word about tackling housing shortage in our borough.”

The new developments feature: 

•           87 new homes to replace 41 at 51-135 (odds) Roxwell Road and 2-4 Stebbing Way. Rents for these new homes will start from around £160 a week for a one bedroom flat (2020/21 prices)

•           63 new homes to replace 17 at 291-301 Oxlow Lane and 265-285 (odds) Rainham Road North. Rents for these homes will start from around £160 a week for a one bedroom flat (2020/21 prices)

•           Both developments will aim to be carbon neutral, with roof solar panels and hundreds of cycle parking spaces – 117 at Oxlow Lane and Rainham Road North and 157 at Roxwell Road and Stebbing Way

Jennie Coombs said: “We are committed at Be First in doing our bit to combat climate change which means building green, healthy, affordable homes fit for the future.”


Consultation event postponed

In the interests of public safety Be First has postponed a consultation event on proposals to build more homes on the Gascoigne Estate.

The event was due to open on Thursday, 19 March at The Boathouse Studio in the Icehouse Quarter off Abbey Road.

A Be First spokesperson said: “We will arrange a further public consultation event when we feel it is appropriate to do so.

“In the interim, we will provide information we were going to be showing on the 19th available on our website –”


Help us make a greater Gascoigne

Local residents will be asked to give their views on plans to redevelop the Gascoigne area this month. 

Be First is hosting two consultation events on proposals to deliver more homes and improve the environment while making it better connected to the town centre and the River Roding. 

Pat Hayes, Managing Director of Be First, said: “We want residents to get involved in the process and help shape our plans to improve the Gascoigne area. 

“Our proposals will help deliver hundreds more top-quality affordable homes for local people but we need the views of the local community to make sure we make the new Gascoigne a beacon of 21st century living.” 

The first event takes place on Tuesday, 10 March at Gascoigne Primary School (main entrance Gascoigne Road) from 2.30 to 7.30pm.  

It will provide an opportunity to examine the proposals for 222 new homes as the latest phase of the development on the east side of Gascoigne Road and to work with architects White Arkitekter, to consider ways that the area can become better connected to Barking town centre and the flourishing communities along the River Roding.  

The second event takes place on Thursday, 19 March at The Boathouse Studio in the Icehouse Quarter off Abbey Road. It will showcase proposals to build almost 400 new homes on the area on the corner of Gascoigne Road and St Paul’s Road, opposite Abbey Green.

London’s Hollywood on track

New designs for the Dagenham Studios were unveiled today as part of a planning application to transform a former factory site into London’s Hollywood.

The plans were submitted by Be First, Barking and Dagenham Council’s regeneration organisation, and are expected to be considered by the Council’s Planning Committee in July this year.

Councillor, Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, said: “This is a crucial stage in our ambition to make Dagenham London’s Hollywood. Our dream of making the area as famous for films as it was for Fords is very much on track.

“The new studios will be a game-changer in bringing thousands of jobs to Dagenham.

“Dagenham is already becoming known as a new hotspot for digital and knowledge-based industries with a huge data centre under construction and the UCL PEARL research centre set to be built just a stone’s throw away from the studios’ site. It’s another sign that Dagenham’s star is rising.”

Pat Hayes, Managing Director of Be First, said: “Our Consultancy Team has worked hard to submit exciting plans for what will be the most modern and largest studios to be built in the capital in the last 25 years.

“Given the high demand for studio space in the UK, I am confident that ambitious movie makers, production companies and studio operators will be very attracted by these proposals.”

The plans feature:
• six large sound stages – equivalent to 140,000 sq ft
• 85,200 sq ft of offices, and
• 174,500 sq ft of workshops
• Designs are made to a high environmental standard

Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive, Film London and the British Film Commission said: “The UK screen industries are enjoying an exceptional boom time and it is crucial that we capitalise on this by continuing to develop our world-class infrastructure and provide access to as much purpose built studio space as we possibly can.

“I am therefore delighted to see the Dagenham studios proposals moving forward so positively with such ambitious and cutting-edge designs that will further bolster London’s studio offer.”

Chris Berry of Lampton Smith Hampton, who have been working with Be First on the film studios project, said: “The planning application is another step forward in this exciting project and demonstrates the council’s commitment to the sector. We are delighted to be associated with it.”