Bid to build 19 homes on ‘historic’ Becontree Estate given the go ahead
PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 September 2019
A bid to build 19 “affordable” homes on the Becontree Estate has been given the green light by town hall chiefs.
The scheme for two buildings rising up to three and four storeys on vacant ground at 200 Becontree Avenue, Dagenham, was approved in a planning meeting on Monday, September 16.
The site was bought by Barking and Dagenham Council with a 1920s building measuring 450 square metres leased temporarily to a church until March this year after which it was demolished.
Be First, the local authority's regeneration firm, identified the land as ripe for development and made the application which includes a community room measuring 169 square metres.
Paul Scott, of the Barking and Dagenham Heritage Conservation Group, said at the meeting: "My main concern is about the impact on traffic and local residents of the building work.
"It would result in loss of a site originally for community use rather than residential. It would be better if there was more community space."
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However, Emma Thorpe, Be First's associate planner, said: "There's surplus capacity at other local community centres that can be used including The Vibe opposite."
All the new homes would be offered as shared ownership and managed by the local authority's housing firm, Reside.
Planning committee members heard that a lot of careful thought went into the new blocks' design and what it meant to build in the historic Becontree Estate, which was the largest public housing estate in the world.
The buildings' appearances were inspired by the Georgian brickwork, "dynamic" rooflines and "decorative details" of the surrounding estate.
Cllr Cameron Geddes, commenting on the development site's history, said: "I was very disappointed a place of worship was going to be lost. I'm aware that there's a desperate shortage of places of worship.
"Having said that, members [of the planning committee] are going to have to vote for or against on the application that's here not one that we might have preferred. On those grounds, I would urge colleagues to vote for it."
Cllr Dominic Twomey pointed out the scheme's 13 one-bedroom, four two-bedroom and two three-bedroom flats did not meet the council's housing mix target but added it wasn't enough for him not to support the bid.
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