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.”