Plans to turn Barking town centre into high-rise ‘mini-Manhattan’ unveiled at property conference

A CGI of the concept designs. Picture: Be First

A CGI of the concept designs. Picture: Be First - Credit: Be First

A bold new high-rise vision for Barking town centre that delivers 2,200 new homes was unveiled today in Cannes by the council.

Concept designs for a major development built around the centrepiece of a revamped station were presented to investors, developers and city planners today at the MIPIM international property conference.

The designs, by architects Weston Williamson and Parteners on behalf of the council’s urban regeneration company Be First, included plans for more retail and leisure facilities in addition to the homes.

The Grade II listed station’s canopy, which is based on the designs for Rome’s main station, would be preserved under the proposals.

Council leader Darren Rodwell has compared the designs to a “mini-Manhattan.”

He added: “But the new look town centre will not be a playground for the rich - it must deliver truly affordable homes and a range of great leisure and retail facilities for ordinary Londoners.”

There will also be a new “loose grid” street layout with green courtyard spaces in the concept plans, in addition to a new “green spine” connecting the existing town centre with existing squares was also in the concept plans.

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An “improved retail offer” will also be a key part of the plans.

Bea Young, associate partner at Weston Williamson and Partners, said: “This vision realises a fantastic opportunity to reinvigorate Barking town centre through the transformation of the station and by improving connectivity between neighbourhoods.

“We have been working with Be First on an ambitious masterplan and architectural concept, which celebrates the richness of Barking, enhances its character and puts the integration of people and places at the heart of the design.”

Be First hope the concept plans will generate interest among investors and residents.

Pat Hayes, Managing Director of Be First said: “We’re raising the bar for development here in Barking and Dagenham, so our vision is deliberately ambitious, designed to ignite interest among investors, and excitement among local people. It is a starting point but the end point we’re seeking is a brilliant new town centre which will serve the people of Barking and east London.”