Riverside redevelopment plan in Barking gets green light

Clrr Dominic Twomey is the deputy leader of Barking and Dagenham Council.

Cllr Dominic Twomey called the Town Quay, Barking development plans "a good thing for the area". - Credit: Sophie Cox

Councillors have approved plans for a redevelopment in Barking that would see almost 150 homes built.

Barking and Dagenham Council's planning committee on March 25 unanimously voted in favour of Weston Homes' application for a site at Town Quay in Abbey Road.

The plans are set to see the "clearance of the existing structures" on the site, which is in the Town Quay road and sits next to the River Roding, according to a report before the meeting. 

Three buildings will be built, ranging from seven to 11 storeys high.

The homes will be a mix of one, two and three-bedroom flats, with 62 of the properties classed as "affordable".

Proposals also include 980 square metres of commercial floor space and the creation of a pedestrianised plaza and riverside walk.

Despite the unanimous approval, concerns were raised in respect of the application.

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Cllr Dominic Twomey, deputy council leader, said he was disappointed that only 15 of the homes will be three-bedroom properties.

He told the meeting: "It clearly falls short of our aspiration. I want families to benefit from unique sites like this."

Cllr Twomey and committee chair Cllr Muhammad Saleem both called for the applicant to put more money towards children's play space than the £22,000 contribution mentioned in the report for Abbey Green.

The report said the development's planned amount of play space fell short of Greater London Authority requirements.

Cllr Saleem said: "This pandemic has demonstrated to us that we do need play space for our kids.

"I think we need to push the boundaries because children are our future and it also gives opportunities to developers to prove themselves to be socially and environmentally caring."

After Cllr Twomey suggested £50,000 as an appropriate figure, a Weston Homes representative said the company would agree to meet the number.

Mark Smith, also of Weston Homes, said some of the two-bed units could be considered for families to live in and that it had already increased the number of three-bed homes for the development.

On the play space, he added: "We are absolutely socially minded and absolutely want to provide our obligations."

Mr Smith said Weston Homes also plans to have further engagement with members of the River Roding Trust, a charity that aims to protect the river.

Cllr Twomey said the development was "a good thing for the area", while Cllr Cameron Geddes added: "This will provide good quality housing for a number of people who desperately need it."

The approval was granted subject to the completion of a section 106 agreement.