New tunnel could replace part of A13 in Dagenham and create space for thousands of homes

Artist's impression of how the Castle Green area could look. Picture: Farrells

Artist's impression of how the Castle Green area could look. Picture: Farrells - Credit: Farrells

A new tunnel could replace part of the A13 as part of plans to create thousands of new homes over the next two decades.

A tunnel is proposed to replace this section of the A13. Picture: Andrew Baker

A tunnel is proposed to replace this section of the A13. Picture: Andrew Baker - Credit: © 2020 Andrew Baker

Barking and Dagenham Council, together with its regeneration company Be First, have submitted a representation to the government’s comprehensive spending review to request investment in the initiative.

The plans involve the construction of a tunnel next to the A13 in the Castle Green area of Dagenham, which would eventually replace the existing dual carriageway there.

It would also allow for 12,000 homes and a new Overground station to be built in Castle Green. A total of 30,000 homes could be unlocked as a result of the development by 2041.

The scheme is also expected to create industrial space and 6,000 new jobs.

It is intended to complement existing initiatives in the area, supporting freight, logistics and enhanced port facilities at Dagenham Dock as well as the relocation of the City of London’s wholesale markets to the borough.

Cllr Darren Rodwell, leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, said: “As London moves east, the need to invest in infrastructure to advance the UK’s economic recovery from the pandemic has never been so important.

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“The tunnelling of the A13 will deliver game changing economic, social and environmental benefits not just to the residents of Barking and Dagenham, but importantly, one that will support high-quality employment growth to level up one of the most deprived areas of the country.”

The council is initially looking for £5m investment to allow full design work and a business plan to be completed, with the total cost of the tunnel plus the new Castle Green station estimated at £800m.

Studies have already been carried out on funding, economics and strategic transport in the borough, and it is estimated that the project would directly unlock £1.7bn in land value uplift for the wider area.

It would also provide a chance to build much-needed new homes to address the housing crisis.

The tunnel itself would be constructed under a phased delivery model to minimise disruption, with an intention to finish it by 2030.

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