The first of over 2,000 homes on one of London’s largest regeneration projects have been completed this week.

And to view the 52 homes in the Gascoigne neighbourhood in Barking was Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Councillor Darren Rodwell.

The 52 homes include one to four-bedroom flats and three-bedroom town houses all of which are affordable and with rents as low as £168 a week.

Cllr Rodwell said: “This is a major milestone in building the new Gascoigne and our drive to make a better Barking and Dagenham. Once completed the New Gascoigne will be one the most family friendly, liveable and affordable neighbourhoods in London.”

Cllr Rodwell was joined by Tom Mather of Be First, Barking and Dagenham Council’s regeneration arm and Steve Kitchen of builders Wilmott Dixon.

Tom Mather said: “It’s been a huge challenge to deliver these 52 homes with the huge challenges of covid and the massive rise in cost of materials.

“But we have got over the line and will continue to do so we deliver on our mission to building tens of thousands of quality homes for local people at rates they can afford.”

Chris Tredget, managing director at Willmott Dixon said: “We’re delighted to have handed over the first 52 homes as well as to be continuing the great work we’re undertaking on the regeneration on the east of Gascoigne estate. Working collaboratively with our customer Be First means that together we’re delivering exceptional quality, sustainable homes for the local community now and in the years to come.”

The news follows planning consent to build a further 334 homes on in the Gascoigne neighbourhood with rents as low as £168 a week.

The 334 new homes, designed by HTA architects, will feature over 50 family sized homes with three and four bedrooms, a lively garden square with children’s play facilities, and biodiverse private courtyards.

Adewole Ademolake, Development Manager at Be First, said: “These new plans demonstrate the council’s commitment to providing genuinely affordable, quality homes for local people and families with fantastic play areas and sustainable spaces for young people to have fun and grow-up in one of the greenest urban neighbourhoods in London.”

Simon Toplis, Partner at HTA Design “HTA design has worked closely with the community for the next phase of the Gascoigne Estate regeneration, which will deliver a range of housing designs with a strong focus on family living, further demonstrating that affordable housing does not need to compromise on quality and access to green space. These homes will be connected by transforming existing pedestrian routes to become a series of inclusive, biodiverse public spaces for the residents and wider community to enjoy, rather than simply being used to pass through the area.”

The design of this next phase has evolved from an earlier masterplan for the wider area led by HTA Design working with Pitman Tozer and Stitch, and is the most family focused phase so far, with streets of terraced houses enclosed by mid-rise mansion blocks.

The architectural approach references the distinctive Barking Town Hall and was designed with input from the community, including working with children from Greatfields school.

The design includes a combination of private gardens, intensive tree planting on green streets, rain gardens and a new planted public space, will deliver urban greening and maximise biodiversity.