An east London development which is a key part of the regeneration of Barking town centre has reached a major milestone this week.

The 20-storey tower in Linton Road – currently known as Crown House – has reached its full height and is set to be finished in the Spring of 2022.

It will provide 169 below affordable homes in the heart of Barking for local people.

Speaking at a topping out ceremony, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Councillor Darren Rodwell, said reaching the milestone was a major step forward in the council’s bid to create a new, vibrant town centre.

Cllr Rodwell said: “It’s great to see this development really taking off. It will provide much needed homes for aspirational working people in the heart Barking.”

Pat Hayes, Managing Director of Be First the Councils development organisation, said: “This new development will provide top quality rented homes for local people in the centre of what is fast becoming one of the most exciting places to live in east London.”

Kim Bromley-Derry, Executive Director at McLaren Group, builders of the new development, said: “COVID-19 has presented a unique challenge that none have us have ever experienced before, particularly in conjunction with delivering such an important building for BeFirst and Barking and Dagenham Council in the heart of Barking.

“To reach the top here, we have had to dig deep and use incredible team spirit and innovative thinking to re-sequence the way we work in such a logistically challenging location. But we’ve made it. The building is now structurally complete, and we are now heading full steam ahead towards being completely weathertight with the interior fit-out also commencing as we speak.

“Another really important factor here has been how we’ve successfully integrated local businesses into the project. My team, assisted by the Barking and Dagenham job shop and our local supply chain have already met our project targets for locally employed people and local resident trainee opportunities. With almost one year still to go to handover, I am confident that we will now build upon this achievement and continue to bring more employment opportunities to the people in the local community.”

In addition to the 20-storey tower, the completed development will feature two shoulder blocks of nine and ten storeys – there will be 80 one-bedroom, 71 two-bedroom and 18 three-bedroom flats. A third of the homes will be shared ownership while the remaining will be below market rent.