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YMCA bid to build 39 flats is a step closer after planning chiefs give a green light

PUBLISHED: 10:00 02 May 2019 | UPDATED: 10:09 02 May 2019

The YMCA's building. Picture: STEVE POSTON

The YMCA's building. Picture: STEVE POSTON

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Plans to build flats for the homeless at the back of the YMCA have taken a step forward.

Plans to build new accommodation for homeless people have been given a green light by Barking and Dagenham Council although . Picture: YMCA/Rogers Stirk Harbour + PartnersPlans to build new accommodation for homeless people have been given a green light by Barking and Dagenham Council although . Picture: YMCA/Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

The charity's bid to add an extra 39 one-bedroom homes in a new three-storey building next to its base in Rush Green Road on the border between Barking and Dagenham and Havering was approved at a Town Hall meeting.

The additional accommodation would provide places to stay for up to five years for young people up to the age of 35 who need help before living independently.

The scheme to build on top of a ball court at the rear of the site was passed on a number of conditions including one that concerns raised by Havering Council over possible added pressure on parking in Rush Green Road would be addressed by the applicant.

The YMCA was called on to submit a car park management plan which included a guarantee people living in the new three-storey building only park on site and don't receive permits for on-street parking.

The additional accommodation comprises 39 one-bedroom flats overlooking Grenfell Park. Picture: YMCA/Rogers Stirk Harbour + PartnersThe additional accommodation comprises 39 one-bedroom flats overlooking Grenfell Park. Picture: YMCA/Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Simon Bullock, presenting the proposal to the council's planning committee, said: “We think that would address the concerns of the neighbouring borough.”

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The building made of a pre-fab modular construction would be clad in metal meaning it would go without balconies but with green space provided to make up for it, the meeting heard.

It would overlook the River Rom and Grenfell Park.

Plans showing the position of the proposed building. Picture: YMCA/Rogers Stirk Harbour + PartnersPlans showing the position of the proposed building. Picture: YMCA/Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

The architect behind the scheme, Lorna Jackson of Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners, assured councillors they were looking at non-combustible materials for the external metal surface and having sprinklers installed.

Rents would be set at the London affordable rent.

On the overall scheme, Mr Bullock said: “It has the potential to make a good contribution to housing need for those in the most need.”

Although liable for mayoral community infrastructure and borough levies, the applicant would be entitled to apply for social housing relief because 100 per cent of the homes are below market levels meaning the charges would be dropped.

Cllr Dominic Twomey, asking what drove the decision not to include private outdoor spaces, was told by the architect that there were a lot of constraints including access for emergency vehicles.

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