Be First wants to hear from Becontree Estate residents about their ideas, hopes and wishes for the future of the estate to help inform a new set of planning guidelines – known as a Design Code – that will preserve the character and heritage of the estate and decide the best way to ‘futureproof’ its homes.

The Becontree Estate Design Code will provide clarity to residents seeking to make changes to their home with the aim of simplifying the planning process. The Code will also inform the design of public spaces, such as parks, squares, and paths to ensure they are functional, accessible, and attractive for people using them.

The Becontree Estate, built a century ago, is a notable neighbourhood in Barking and Dagenham, made up of 29,000 homes and housing 40% of the borough’s population. It was developed with garden city principles in mind, providing affordable yet beautifully and imaginatively designed mixed tenure homes with gardens for residents.

Funded by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, works being brought forward will improve the energy efficiency of homes on the estate – reducing residents’ bills while enhancing the character of the Becontree Estate.

Amandeep Singh Kalra, Associate Director of Place & Design at Be First, said:

“We want to hear from Becontree Estate residents to ensure their ideas are incorporated into the Becontree Estate Design Code to help shape the future of this historic area.

“This programme will focus on retrofitting homes, promoting sustainable transport, and protecting and enhancing local wildlife habitats through improving the local landscape and, in turn, improving air quality across Becontree Estate. We look forward to hearing the suggestions and opinions of the residents”.

Residents are being asked to complete a two-part survey that will take 10 minutes to finish, and by completing both parts they will be entered into a prize draw to win a £100 Amazon voucher.

The survey is the latest in a range of community engagement efforts Be First has undertaken for Becontree Estate. The business has previously set up pop-up engagement stalls around Dagenham and has established the Becontree Design Forum with Becontree Estate residents that has conducted several workshops. In total over 200 people have been consulted and more than 500 insights have been recorded so far.

The survey is open from 13 February to 13 March. You can complete the survey here, and there will be printed copies of the survey available in Dagenham Library, as well as in several businesses on Dagenham Heathway.