Council approves 200 new homes for Gascoigne Estate despite heritage opposition
PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 November 2019
Councillors have approved 201 new homes for Barking's Gascoigne Estate.
The planning committee gave the green light to the first part of the plan to redevelop the estate at a November 11 meeting.
If built, 96 of the homes will be let at London Affordable Rent - a rate set by the mayor of London for households on low incomes - and 79 will be private rented. There are currently 25 council homes on the estate, they're now set to be replaced by 26 new ones.
Weekly rent will start from £134, according to the council's development arm Be First.
"This decision paves the way for more quality homes people can afford," said Be First's managing director Pat Hayes.
A children's play area, electric car charging points and 360 bike spaces have been designed along with the homes. Solar panels are also included to help reduce the estate's energy use and its impact on the environment. A year's free car club membership will be given to all residents.
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There was opposition to the plan from the Barking and Dagenham Heritage and Conservation Group.
Paul Scott, its representative, said the new development threatened the light reaching the historic Barking Abbey and its grounds. One of the buildings in phase one reaches 11 storeys.
But Gascoigne Ward's Cllr Dominic Twomey said the council was "between a rock and a hard place" when it came to protecting heritage and trying to alleviate the housing crisis.
"We have an awareness of the heritage," he said. "We also have an awareness of the biggest housing crisis that this country has faced. We have to take into account the part that we play in that."
He said people he represented on the estate want the new housing that was being proposed.
"It's the best possible way forward for the residents, both current and new.
"At the moment, that social housing [on the Gascoigne Estate] hasn't stood up to the test of time."
The council has already given permission for up to 850 new homes to replace the decaying Gascoigne Estate. The specifics for phase two and three haven't yet been approved.