A major milestone has been reached in the building of Barking’s greenest housing block this week.

The housing block in the redeveloping Gascoigne neighbourhood, features 124 affordable homes and will be the first net zero carbon building to be delivered by Be First, which is managing the redevelopment on behalf of Barking and Dagenham Council.

And to celebrate the achievement deputy leader of Barking and Dagenham Cllr Saima Ashraf met Steve Kitchen of contractors Willmott Dixon and Jared Birch of Be First at a topping out ceremony.

Cllr Ashraf, Deputy Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, said: “This is a huge step in our march towards Barking and Dagenham becoming the green capital of London, and cementing our position as London’s largest builder of council homes.

“Once finished the new Gascoigne estate will be one of the greenest, most affordable neighbourhoods in town.”

Steve Kitchen, Operations Director, Willmott Dixon, said: “We’re delighted to be celebrating this milestone with both Barking and Dagenham Council and Be First. Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at Willmott Dixon, so to be constructing Be First’s first net zero carbon building is something we’re very proud to be a part of.”

Jared Birch, Deputy Construction Director, Be First, said: “It’s a tremendous achievement by Willmott Dixon to get to this stage in the current economic climate. But it’s crucial we deliver not only affordable homes for local people but eco-friendly buildings too, to play our part in the battle against climate change.”

The 124 homes feature one-, two- and three-bedroom flats with rents starting from £168 a week at today’s prices.

The new Gascoigne neighbourhood will be one of the most sustainable * ’15 minute’ neighbourhoods in London.

It will feature:

  • Three new parks, tree lined streets and courtyards and walkable routes
  • Community gardens and orchards
  • Photovoltaic panels on roof spaces.


* The 15-minute neighbourhood – will provide residents access to most, if not all, of their needs within a short walk or bike ride from their home, making life more liveable for residents, by improving air quality and making neighbourhoods safer, quieter, more diverse, inclusive and economically vibrant.