Construction of 90 affordable homes at a former Job Centre site in South Dagenham started this week. 

The development in Chequers Lane is the result of an innovative agreement between Barking and Dagenham Council and Hollybrook Ltd, who will build the homes for the council. 

Initially the site had planning permission for 77 homes of which only 16 per cent were affordable but thanks to an agreement brokered by Be First all the homes will now be affordable, with rents starting from £159 a week for a one bedroom flat*. Once the homes are complete they will be handed over to Barking and Dagenham Council. 

Cllr Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council met Director of Hollybrook Ltd, Kevin Parsons at the site to see how work was progressing. You can see what they had to say here.  

Cllr Darren Rodwell said: “This development is a win-win for the people of Barking and Dagenham – we get 90 more affordable homes for local people built by local labour. 

“And it’s just the start of great things to come for Dagenham, we have thousands of homes coming at Beam Park, hundreds of jobs on their way as part of plans to relocate the City of London markets and, of course, London’s largest film and TV studios coming soon at Dagenham East.” 

Ed Skeates Development Director at Be First said: “This is a great and safe investment for the Council. It will deliver 100 per cent affordable housing for local people.” 

Kevin Parsons, Development Director of Hollybrook said: “This is an important and very prominent regeneration project which will provide employment for approximately 60 local people during its construction.

“When we first acquired the site, it had planning consent for 77 apartments including only 16% affordable housing. We subsequently obtained consent for 90 homes, including 35% affordable housing which, thanks to Be First, has been increased to 100 per cent. We are very pleased to be involved in the delivery of this high quality regeneration project in collaboration with Be First.”

The total development costs for Barking and Dagenham Council is around £25m.  

The scheme is 100% affordable, 69% Affordable Rent (discount market rent), and 31% London Affordable Rent – with a rent for one bedroom flat starting at £159 a week at 2020/21 prices.