Council to rule on £63m project to build 200 affordable homes in Marks Gate

The cabinet will decide on the plan at Barking town hall. Picture: Luke Acton.

The cabinet will decide on the plan at Barking town hall. Picture: Luke Acton. - Credit: Archant

The council is set to decide tonight, Tuesday, November 12 on a £63million plan to build 200 homes in Marks Gate. All the properties are to be “affordable”.

While 35 per cent of them will be London Affordable Rent (a rate set by the mayor of London for people on low incomes) and 15 per cent shared ownership, half will be "affordable rent". That can be up to 80 per cent of market rates, an amount that is sometimes criticised as being unaffordable for many tenants.

Officers are proposing to develop the land through £17million from the Greater London Authority or the government Right to Buy scheme. The remaining £46million would come from a loan from the government's Public Works Loan Board.

Securing planning permission and procuring a contractor themselves is expected to cost around £6.7million.

The proposed site is at Padnall Lake off the A12, Marks Gate. The area, around 40,000 square metres of council-owned land, would include the new homes as well as 250sq m of community space and "high quality open space and public realm improvement", according to the planning report.

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Padnall Lake and the area around it is designated a "local public open space", meaning planning policies "strongly resist its loss", according to the planning report. The council wants to overcome that by providing smaller, but better-quality spaces.

People near the development will be asked what they want to see from the community space if the plan is approved.

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The council's development arm Be First is leading the project. It hopes to create open areas to increase biodiversity while sheltering them from the A12 to increase use of the site.

If the plan is approved, Be First hopes to have a contractor by August 2020 and begin building a month later to finish the project in December 2022. Its part of Be First's goal to build 50,000 new homes and 20,000 new jobs in the next 20 years.

While the plan is currently for 200 homes, the council's report said that number could increase to meet housing need.

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