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Budget 2014: Commitment to Overground extension to Barking Riverside announced alongside funding for new homes

PUBLISHED: 15:44 19 March 2014 | UPDATED: 08:41 24 March 2014

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne

PA Archive/Press Association Images

The chancellor’s budget today revealed key funding commitments aimed at fulfilling the potential of the Barking Riverside development.

Announcing his budget for 2014/15 in the House of Commons earlier (March 19), chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne said the government would build new homes on the 443-acre site.

A commitment to extend the Barking to Gospel Oak Overground rail link to Barking Riverside was also revealed

He commended the budget to the house, saying: “This is a budget for building a resilient economy. If you’re a maker, a doer or a saver, this budget is for you.

“It is all part of a long term economic plan — a plan that is delivering security for the people of this country.”

The Mayor of London’s office released a statement following the budget announcement which said the Mayor had lobbied government over funding and commitments for new infrastructure.

A spokesman confirmed the government would work in conjunction with Boris Johnson to extend the rail line to Barking Riverside, which will “enable development of the largest single site in London for new housing”.

She said a joint venture between the Greater London Authority and Bellway Homes would see 11,000 new homes, 6,000 jobs and five new schools built on the site which stretches 2km along the river Thames.

Not everyone welcomed the news, however.

Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), said the plans for regeneration and new homes in Barking would only contribute “a little housing” in the South East.

“These numbers are a drop in the ocean and do nothing to help others in the UK,” he said, adding: “They don’t deliver the mix of homes we need across society, from the private rented sector to affordable and social housing.”

RICS is the world’s leading professional body for qualifications and standards in land, property and construction.

Deputy leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Cllr Rocky Gill, said before the budget was announced that the Overground extension would “unlock the potential of Barking Riverside”.

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