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Bid to build tower blocks up to 28 storeys next to Barking station given green light

PUBLISHED: 11:57 15 September 2020 | UPDATED: 11:57 15 September 2020

The scheme includes 198 homes with 70 offered at

The scheme includes 198 homes with 70 offered at "affordable" rates. Picture: Patrizia

Archant

A developer’s bid to build 198 homes next to Barking station has been given a green light.

Lounges and commercial floorspace at ground level are among the plans. Picture: PatriziaLounges and commercial floorspace at ground level are among the plans. Picture: Patrizia

Members of the town hall’s planning committee unanimously approved the scheme – which would see tower blocks rising up to 28 storeys on the corner of Station Parade and Wakering Road – at a meeting on Monday (September 14).

The plan would see the demolition of the existing Trocoll House office building, which houses The Barking Dog pub on the ground floor.

The proposal had been set for refusal when it was due to be discussed at a planning meeting in August, but it was deferred after the percentage of “affordable” housing was increased from 20 to 35pc.

Cllr Dominic Twomey welcomed the plan, but questioned how it could still be viable given the increase.

The scheme includes a cafe as well as lounges for residents and playspace on the fifth floor of one of the towers. Picture: PatriziaThe scheme includes a cafe as well as lounges for residents and playspace on the fifth floor of one of the towers. Picture: Patrizia

“It’s better than what we’ve got now because what we’ve got now doesn’t serve any purpose,” Cllr Twomey said.

Richard Scott, speaking on behalf of the applicant, Patrizia, said: “We still believe in our viability exercise. We feel we are going above and beyond the level of affordable [housing] we can with 35 per cent.”

He added that Patrizia was committed to developing the site.

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Cllr Twomey replied: “Most reasonably minded people would think that jump to 35 per cent makes absolutely no sense at all.”

He asked why anyone would pursue that level of affordable housing if it would cost them.

“I’m not sure you’ve given me or the committee significant reassurance that there’s a will to build this,” he added.

However, Mr Scott said Patrizia is happy to stand by the 35pc.

An artist's impression of a 2015 application. That scheme was refused by the council before the mayor of London approved it. However, the permission lapsed in 2019. Picture: Coplan EstatesAn artist's impression of a 2015 application. That scheme was refused by the council before the mayor of London approved it. However, the permission lapsed in 2019. Picture: Coplan Estates

Jonathan Rowlatt, speaking for the scheme, added that an expected 10pc increase in rental values outlined in a BNP Paribas report also supported the developer’s figures.

In total, 70 of the homes would be “affordable” with 21 offered at London living rent and the rest at discount market rent.

Cllr Cameron Geddes expressed disappointment that London affordable rent wasn’t being offered, but accepted the bid complied with demands.

Committee members heard the scheme had no adverse impact on daylight, sunlight, noise, wind, privacy or overlooking. Its design had passed a review panel check.

The development would bring “a significant number of new homes” and benefits, Olivia St Amour from Be First said.


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