A recycling plant and office block in Barking are set to be bought by Barking and Dagenham Council.

Cabinet members approved the purchase of Edwards Recycling's site in Gallions Close to accelerate housing plans for the Thames Road regeneration area.

Developer Inland Homes has already submitted a planning application for up to 231 homes on the former Medina Dairy site nearby.

But a council report said there are concerns about going ahead with the scheme while the recycling plant is still operating.

The document said the proposed purchase would see Edwards Recycling continuing to occupy the site for around 12 to 18 months while it secured permission for change of use to relocate its operation to Dagenham Dock.

Cllr Cameron Geddes, cabinet member for regeneration, told the September 20 cabinet meeting: "If we were to facilitate that move, that would encourage earlier housing development in the area."

Be First, the council's housing arm, would then seek permission to build homes on the Edwards Recycling site as well as the Lithuancia site in Gallions Close, which the council has already bought.

At the same meeting, cabinet also gave the green light for the council to buy Maritime House in Barking.

Barking and Dagenham Post: Maritime House is set to be bought by Barking and Dagenham CouncilMaritime House is set to be bought by Barking and Dagenham Council (Image: Archant)

The ten-storey building, in Linton Road, is occupied by the likes of London Ambulance Service, Be First and the Department for Work and Pensions.

A council report on this item said it intends to keep the block in office use for at least ten years but added that it has "redevelopment potential" for a residential or mixed-use scheme.

The report said: "The purchase would ensure that one of the borough’s best office buildings would be retained for office use as well as providing a redevelopment opportunity in the medium / longer term."

The council already owns nearby Roycraft House, which it has let to Make it London for a ten-year period.

The Post reported last September on plans to turn the former council offices into a cultural hub, including work and events spaces.

The report said: "If Maritime House was purchased and operated as an office investment for a 10-year period, the council would be able to formulate comprehensive redevelopment proposals for both sites in the intervening period to ensure that a quality development was provided in future years."

Cabinet also authorised Philip Gregory, the council's strategic finance director, to finalise the transactions for both purchases.