Intelligent industrial-resi development is future of regeneration

Plans to create a mixed use business and residential development in Barking were approved by the Barking and Dagenham Council’s planning committee this week (Monday, 21 December).

It means 156 new high quality affordable homes for rent will be built alongside 5,085sqm of light industrial space in Thames Road, Barking.

Councillor Cameron Geddes, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Social Housing, said: “We’re trying to do regeneration differently in Barking and Dagenham.

“We’re about delivering inclusive growth and this development in Thames Road is a great example of intelligent regeneration. It will produce jobs and quality homes for local people at rents they can afford – and all in a sustainable way. It’s a model for future regeneration.”

The site is located on the corner of Thames Road and Crossness Road, and acts as a key entrance point into the Barking Riverside regeneration area.

The Thames Road development will include:

•            156 affordable new homes for the council – about half of them reserved for people on our waiting lists

•            5,085 square metres of light industrial units for new or expanding businesses

•            60 trees and improved landscaping

•            green spaces and play areas, balconies and green roof terraces

•            70% of hot water and heating to be provided by air source heat pumps

•            Café reinstated on the corner of Thames Road and Crossness Road

Ben Green, Senior Development Manager at Be First, who will be overseeing the development, said: “Be First is about building sustainable communities that create new jobs and new homes.  12 Thames Road is a statement of intent for Be First and the Council, who have ambitious plans to regenerate the Thames Road area.”


Council to trial measures to make Station Parade safer

The Council plans to restrict unauthorised traffic along Station Parade, Barking from January 2021 in response to residents’ concerns about road safety.

The improvements outside Barking Station will be introduced for an 18-month trial period and are designed to reduce traffic danger for the thousands of people who work, live or travel through the area daily.

Councillor Cameron Geddes, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Social Housing, explains: “Barking Station is one of the busiest in London, with 14.5 million commuters a year and rising using it.

“Road traffic accidents have been too high for too long in Station Parade and, even now during lockdown, it’s congested. So, we plan to stop cars using the road unnecessarily.”

Only buses, taxis, cyclists and emergency service vehicles will be allowed to travel along Station Parade.

The Council intends to keep the scheme under review during the trial period and is calling on residents, businesses and users to give their views online. Towards the end of the 18-month trial, the Council will conduct further consultation to establish whether to make the works permanent.

More information is available at


Plans for new model 21st Century urban development agreed

Plans to transform one of east London’s largest 1960s housing estates into a new model for green urban living were approved by Barking and Dagenham Council’s planning committee this week.

The council’s approval of two planning applications from its regeneration arm, Be First, means over 900 new homes at rents and prices ordinary working Londoners can afford, will be built as the former Gascoigne estate, in the heart of Barking, is redeveloped.

Councillor Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, said: “This decision means we will be creating one of the greenest and most sustainable neighbourhoods in the capital.

“It will be a new model of 21st century urban design to meet the challenges of climate change and provide quality homes for ordinary working people.”

The designs for the new homes will capitalise on the Gascoigne neighbourhood’s location, with the town centre, with public transport, retail and leisure facilities all just 15 minutes’ walk away.

This ‘15 minute’ neighbourhood will encourage more sustainable living through its use of green heating and power generating systems, and will feature 1,600 cycle parking spaces.

Councillor Andrew Achilleos, Member Champion for Climate Change, said: “This exciting project brings us another step closer to our ambition of a greener borough for the benefit of all.

“While there’s still lots of work to do, we want to play our role in helping to ensure that Barking and Dagenham is a green and sustainable place to live for future generations.”

The plans include:

  • a range of one to three-bedroom homes with rents starting at £135 a week
  • a new 1.25 acre park
  • extensive tree-planting around a series of courtyards
  • connection to the local district energy network,
  • green roofs and solar panels
  • 350 sqm of community space – a residents’ hub – and an improved range of children’s play areas and a Multiple Use Games Area
  • 822sqm of retail and commercial space

Jacob Willson, Head of Design at Be First said: “We have designed a greener, more sustainable Gascoigne which will create a healthy neighbourhood for our residents with a great new park at its heart.”

Linda Thiel, Director of London Studio, White Arkitekter, said: “It’s wonderful to see our designs for the Gascoigne neighbourhood endorsed by the council.

“The projects we are working on have given us the opportunity to improve the quantity and quality of housing available for local people, and enable a paradigm shift in how the public spaces can be used, a move from estate to neighbourhood.

“This will become a place that provides green, active, social spaces for all ages and abilities.”

Help us revitalise our riverside

Residents and businesses have been asked to give their views on a masterplan to transform industrial land in and around Barking Creek and the River Thames.

The outline plans look to breathe new life into the area around River Road and Thames Road in a bid to boost business growth, deliver modern industrial buildings, new homes and create a new vibrant, sustainable community.

Councillor Cameron Geddes, Cabinet Member for Social Housing and Regeneration, said: “Barking and Dagenham’s potential for progressive growth is almost boundless.

“And the area around Barking Creek and the Thames is ripe for regeneration – but it has to benefit local people and businesses, which is why it’s crucial residents and local employers get involved in this consultation.”

The consultation runs from 1 December 2020 to 26 January 2021.

To comment on the plans (the River Road Employment Area (and Kingsway Industrial Estate) Supplementary Planning Document), please go to

New homes and better green spaces will be massive boost for Marks Gate

The council approved plans from Be First to build affordable new homes at Marks Gate last night (30 November).

The members of the planning committee voted to support the application for permission to build the first phase of 81 high quality, affordable homes for the council, and approved the construction of up to 219 more in principle.

They also agreed to a number of conditions which would see added benefits coming to the community including a contribution towards improving local bus services.

Councillor Cameron Geddes, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Social Housing, said: “This is great news for the thousands of people on the council’s housing list. It will provide desperately needed homes for local people at rents they can afford.

“In addition to the new homes the development will provide a brand new park, orchards and improved access to a lake which will provide a green open space residents can enjoy.”

The other main features of the plan are:

  • 100 per cent of the new homes will be affordable homes with rents starting at £159 a week
  • top environmental standards – with solar panels and lots of insulation to keep fuel bills low, and
  • use of modern construction methods to speed up the building process and minimise inconvenience to existing residents.
  • creation of an attractive linear park with a range of uses – from adventure play areas to orchards
  • upgrade the lake and the area around the lake to increase biodiversity and to make it more accessible for everyone, especially elderly and disabled people.

The plans will now be submitted to the Mayor of London, and his team will scrutinise the application and give a final decision early next year.

Further details here.

Unique ‘One Borough’ development gets green light

A development at Brocklebank Lodge in Becontree Avenue which will feature 53 new homes for local residents, including 15 for people who have Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), was hailed by the Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Councillor Darren Rodwell, as highly innovative.

Cllr Rodwell said: “Housing needs for people with ASD are unique and not easily met, often we have to house these residents outside the borough.

“But thanks to these plans we can make sure people with ASD stay in the borough and closer to their families, while living in a modern and bespoke home which meets their needs.

“This development is a borough first and shows our commitment to social inclusion and that we truly are one borough.”

Marcia Kirlew, Development Manager at Be First, who will be managing the development, said: “Be First is not just about bricks and mortar, we not only build quality homes for local people, we also build communities too.”

The remaining 38 homes will be made available to local people at below market price rent

The plans will involve the demolition of Brocklebank Lodge a former old people’s home.