Construction starts on latest phase of Barking development

 L-R Lord Kerslake, Muhammed Irbaz Ali, Cllr Rodwell, Chris Tredget

L-R Lord Kerslake, Muhammed Irbaz Ali, Cllr Darren Rodwell and Chris Tredget - Credit: Andrew Baker

Building work has begun on the latest phase of a 2,100 home development in Barking.

Council leader Darren Rodwell visited the Gascoigne East site, where construction is underway on 124 homes.

He met staff working for contractors Willmott Dixon and said it was "fantastic" to see local people helping to build the new Gascoigne neighbourhood.

Cllr Rodwell added: “It’s a great example of the scale and pace of work that our regeneration organisation, Be First, is achieving - delivering more affordable homes and creating opportunities.  Together we’re really making it happen.” 

Muhammed Irbaz Ali, from Dagenham and an apprentice document controller at Willmott Dixon, said: “To be able to be directly involved in the regeneration of my local area, knowing that it will positively impact current and future generations, is something I’m incredibly proud to be a part of.”

This phase of the project will see 32 one-bedroom, 50 two-bedroom, 36 three-bedroom and six four-bedroom flats built and Be First said rents would start from £161 a week at today’s prices. 

The ground-breaking ceremony coincided with the publication of Be First's progress report Making it Happen, which provides details of its work building new homes.  

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Cllr Rodwell was joined by Chris Tredget, managing director of Willmott Dixon and Lord Kerslake, chairman of Be First, at the site.

Lord Kerslake said: “Be First has made great strides since it was set up in late 2017. We are delivering hundreds of homes for local people with thousands more in the pipeline.

"Through our development programme, nearly a thousand local people are employed in helping to build a better borough."

Chris added: “We are delighted to start work on the next phase at Gascoigne East, providing a further 124 high quality homes for the people of Barking.

"Sustainability is at the heart of this project and we're looking forward to continuing to work closely with the local community.” 

Building work is set to be finished in autumn 2023.