City Hall defends 198-home Barking tower block plans

An artist's impression of the Trocoll House development

An artist's impression of the Trocoll House development - Credit: Archant

City Hall has defended its decision to grant planning permission to build a 28-storey block of flats in Barking town centre claiming it will help meet the capital’s “ever-pressing” housing need.

The development for Wakering Road, Barking, has been given the go ahead

The development for Wakering Road, Barking, has been given the go ahead - Credit: Archant

Trocoll House, in Wakering Road, will be demolished in the summer to make way for 198 privately-rented homes, after Boris Johnson overturned a decision by Barking and Dagenham Council.

Councillors narrowly refused the initial application in October, but the Mayor of London got the final say, arguing that the development plays a key role in his London Plan.

His deputy Roger Evans officially granted permission at a public hearing at City Hall on Friday afternoon.

A spokesman for the Mayor of London said: “This site will see the redevelopment of a car park and the conversion of Trocoll House into nearly 200 much-needed new homes for Londoners in a key location near Barking station.

“City Hall has been clear about the need to get on and build the homes for an ever-increasing population in the capital and developments which deliver new homes, many of which will be for private rent in town centres are welcomed, and will assist in meeting that ever-pressing need.”

Councillors had raised concerns about the lack of social housing and local loss of lighting.

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They also argued that the application was not of high enough quality and did not make adequate provision for child’s play and waste management.

Resident Paul Scott, 39, of Sandhurst Drive, Barking, objected to the proposals at the first stage.

“It’s not a suitable place to build a residential property, it should be left for commercial use,” he said. “I’m really disappointed.”

Nick Doyle, director of developers Coplan Estates, confirmed that the Barking Dog pub will remain while additional ground-floor commercial space will be incorporated on Wakering Road, which could accommodate a wide variety of complimentary uses.

“This scheme has been two years in the making and we are delighted to have secured one of the first planning permissions in the borough for residential accommodation of this type,” he said.

“We look forward to working closely with our partners so that we can commence construction on this scheme and deliver much needed housing into the market in the next few years.

“Once completed, the scheme will provide modern, well designed apartments with a range of on-site amenities benefitting from the superb transport links, and the facilities Barking Town Centre has to offer”.

A council spokesman said: “Councillors on the Development Control Board were right in their decision to consider the application on its merit and to do the right thing for the community.

“We understand the designs have since been amended to take on board some of the concerns raised.”