Low carbon energy will be delivered to thousands of Barking homes when a new centre is built in the town.

Plans for a new energy centre on "greenfield" land off the A124 in Barking were approved on Monday night (April 25).

The plans, submitted by Barking and Dagenham Council-owned company B&D Energy, feature two adjoining buildings and two external heat storage vessels of around 15.5 metres in height.

One building would contain three gas-fired boilers and the other would house two combined heat and power plants.

A council report said the scheme is intended to "deliver fairly priced heat to residential customers".

The centre is set to supply low carbon energy to more than 10,000 new Barking town centre homes from 2023, it added, with development work beginning later this year.

A visitor centre is also earmarked on the site, accommodating up to 20 people.

The report said this would "be used to inform and educate visitors about low carbon technologies, sustainability and the work B&D Energy and LBBD are doing to work towards a zero-carbon future".

A small number of objections were made by residents, including concern that the scheme was not producing renewable energy.

Council officers, who recommended the plans for approval, wrote: "Whilst it is recognised that the proposed development is still a carbon producing energy source and would therefore not realise the full scope of decarbonised local energy, it is a low carbon and local energy source that would be an improvement from the current rate of carbon emissions."

Committee chair Muhammad Saleem called it "a step in the right direction towards decarbonisation".

Members of the council's planning committee unanimously approved the proposal.

Section 106 conditions have also committed B&D Energy to carry out studies exploring how the district heat network and the site could incorporate decarbonisation.