Havering Council slammed plans to build more houses on the site of the old Dagenham Ford Factory and said the project should not go ahead unless a railway station is approved for the area. 

The next phase of the Beam Park master plan, which will eventually deliver 3,119 homes, was discussed on Monday evening (December 19).

Some families have been living on the site since 2020, when the first homes were completed. The new homes would be made up of 2,897 flats and 222 houses, with 1,534 affordable homes.


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The applicants, Countryside Partnerships Plc and L&Q, had applied to Barking and Dagenham Council for hybrid planning permission, which involves seeking partial planning permission for one part of Beam Park and full planning permission for another part of it.

The new neighbourhood covers both Barking and Dagenham and Havering and will supposedly have its own station, Beam Park railway station in Havering. 

But Simon Thelwell, head of strategic development at Havering Council, argued the next phase should not go ahead.

The site is now called Beam Park and will eventually deliver over 3,000 homes Credit: Ruby Gregory

The site is now called Beam Park and will eventually deliver over 3,000 homes Credit: Ruby Gregory

Mr Thelwell said: “Sustainable development can only take place if the development phase can coincide with Beam Park railway station being delivered – which has not been adequately secured in this proposal.

“Without a station, the aspiration for at least 3,000 more dwellings in this part of Havering is lost, allowing an additional 900 units without the station fails to take a long-term view, and [undermines] the need argument for this station.”

He told the committee: “The application before you this evening effectively pushes back any control over the delivery of Beam Park station.”

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The station is part of an ongoing saga after it was reported central government “never gave support” over its development. It is meant to serve some 3,000 households that will eventually move into Beam Park.

In response to Havering Council’s argument, case officer Barry Coughlan said approving the extra homes as part of the application would not “prejudice” and would actually make the case for the delivery of Beam Park railway station ultimately stronger.

He wrote in a council document: “Allowing these additional units to come forward ahead of the station is not considered to prejudice the delivery of the station which would be held back by slightly more housing units than was previously the case and still robustly protected.

The former site of Dagenham\s Ford Factory is unrecognisable as builders move in Credit: Ruby Gregory

The former site of Dagenham\'s Ford Factory is unrecognisable as builders move in Credit: Ruby Gregory

“The broader public transport accessibility of the proposed development is considered elsewhere in this report and has been found to be acceptable.”

Andrew Taylor, an architect for Beam Park, told the planning committee: “It’s now five years since the original design was proposed, considerable change has gone forward – of course, there’s an omnipresent necessity to deliver more housing and this Beam Park proposal delivers that.”

Despite Havering Council’s concerns over the future of the station, the Barking and Dagenham Council’s planning committee unanimously voted in approval of the planning application.