Barking Riverside are proud sponsors of this year’s Open House London and invite you this Saturday to find out about the plans to build a brand new neighbourhood in Barking.
Visitors will get an insight into what is happening at Barking Riverside as well as the chance to jump into our 4×4 for an ‘off-road’ Jeep tour. Visitors will have the opportunity to ask questions, take part in a fact finding trail and enjoy complimentary drinks and nibbles overlooking the beautiful Thames.
A free shuttle bus service will run from outside The Spotted Dog Pub, next to Barking Underground Station, departing at 11.30am, 1pm and 3pm (returning to Barking Station at various intervals). Alternatively, residents can reach the Barking Riverside Project Office via the EL1 bus (towards Barking Riverside) from outside Barking Station. The nearest bus stop is Estuary Close, which is a 5-6 minute walk from the project office. Parking is available on site for those who wish to drive.
Special arrangements have also been made for local residents. A free shuttle bus will pick residents up from the Rivergate Centre at 11am and 1.45pm.
The Mayor of London has paved the way for up to 10,000 new homes in Barking – as many as 50 per cent of which could be affordable – after approving the masterplan for the single largest regeneration site in the capital.
Sadiq Khan gave his consent to the masterplan for Barking Riverside – a 180-hectare brownfield site on the northern banks of the River Thames.
In line with Sadiq’s long-term aim, a target of 50 per cent affordable housing has been set for the development, including affordable homes to rent and those for first-time buyers, across a mixture of one, two and three-bedroom homes.
Under the previous Mayor, the plans included only 28 per cent affordable housing. Despite still operating under the existing London Plan set by the previous Mayor, Sadiq has now agreed a scheme that includes a minimum of 35 per cent affordable from the outset, with provisions to raise this to 50 per cent over time through additional investment and viability reviews.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Barking Riverside has enormous potential to deliver thousands of the much-needed homes Londoners so urgently need.
“I’ve made it clear that tackling London’s housing crisis is my number-one priority. Fixing this problem will be a marathon, not a sprint, but developments like this one will play a huge part in our efforts to provide genuinely affordable homes to buy and rent.
“Our next task is to ensure this development includes the facilities and infrastructure which will make this a fantastic place to live and to visit, rather than simply a housing development.”
Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Councillor Darren Rodwell, said: “We welcome the Mayor’s approval for Barking Riverside masterplan. This is a key part of the regeneration jigsaw, not just for Barking and Dagenham but for London as a whole.
“It will undoubtedly make an enormous contribution to solving part of the capital’s housing crisis and we are determined to create an attractive and prosperous new community there.
“This borough has a very exciting and ambitious growth programme, which includes the delivery of over 45,000 new homes and 10,000 new jobs over the next ten years. We are committed to ensuring that no-one is left behind. These homes should serve local residents too and therefore providing affordable housing is key.”
David Montague, Chief Executive of London & Quadrant (L&Q), said: “As Barking Riverside is one of the largest and most ambitious regeneration schemes in Europe, L&Q is committed to delivering homes, across a range of incomes, that are genuinely affordable for everyone. The revised masterplan approval helps us achieve this goal.
“The potential of Barking Riverside is enormous and for L&Q it is a significant step forward in delivering on its promise to build 100,000 homes over the next decade. We are delighted to be at the forefront of making this exciting vision a reality.”
The site is owned by Barking Riverside Ltd, a joint venture between the Greater London Authority (GLA) and the housing association L&Q. Until the 1990s it was home to three power stations and a large amount of landfill.
Over forty protected water voles have been reintroduced into a specially created habitat at Barking Riverside, one of the UK’s largest housing developments.
The species, once common across the UK, has undergone one of the most serious declines of any wild mammal in Britain during the 20th century. Barking Riverside remains an area where water voles can still be seen in the wild. In 2015, ten animals were relocated to a specialist centre in Devon for breeding purposes – the offspring have now been returned to the area.
The new habitat, funded and created by Barking Riverside Limited, was developed in close consultation with Natural England and The Environment Agency; it incorporates ponds with a diversity of aquatic plants, providing optimal foraging habitat for water vole. Mink rafts have also been installed at key locations across the site to monitor the presence of American mink, a non-native predator that poses a significant threat to the conservation of water voles.
On the day of the relocation, a group of Barking Riverside residents were invited to a demonstration by Harry Smith, Consultant Ecologist of DF Clark Bionomique*, to witness how ecologists trap and transport water voles prior to release into the wild.
Clarissa Hargest-Kemp, who attended the demonstration, comments: “I’ve lived here for 14 years and regularly come down to the public land along the river to walk my dog. It’s good to see that wildlife is still part of the picture, and still will be when the building work is complete.”
Harry Smith, Consultant Ecologist, advises on how residents can best assist in the protection of the species: “Predators are the biggest threat water voles face. In the unlikely event residents spot any unusual animals, such as American mink, I would encourage them to report their sightings to Barking Riverside Limited, so the team of ecologists here can track any potential dangers.”
The water vole release is part of an extensive conservation programme at Barking Riverside. Subsequent phases include the translocation of reptiles from one section of the site to another.
Richard Southall, Assistant Director Barking Riverside for L&Q, which has entered into a partnership to speed up the delivery of the development, concludes, “The programme of environmental works at Barking Riverside is designed to enhance the site, ensuring the long term protection of the plethora of interesting species here. The riverside land close to the site office can still be safely accessed by Barking residents, and we want to encourage the public to make use of this wonderful open space, and learn about the unique environment right on their doorstep.”
The Fun-Filled Barking Riverside Family Fair!
On Saturday 9th July, over 600 local residents and community group members attended The Barking Riverside Family Fair, hosted by Barking Riverside Limited.
The event was officially opened by the leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Cllr Darren Rodwell, followed by dance performances from local community group, Triangoals. The free, fun day out was packed with vintage and inflatable fair games, face painting and a penalty shoot-out, as well as a free Zumba class from Triangoals.
The first in a series of community events at Barking Riverside, the event gave residents a chance to meet team members from L&Q (the new partners on the Barking Riverside project) and Barking Riverside London and learn more about future plans for the area, as well as enjoy summer activities and treats provided by the local community.
Barking Riverside is a new neighborhood being created along 2km of Thames river frontage and is one of the most ambitious and important new developments in the UK. L&Q has recently entered into a partnership with the Greater London Authority to support the delivery of 600 new homes a year at Barking Riverside. L&Q’s involvement will also help increase the pace of development of the proposed new facilities on site, which will include a new rail station, healthcare facilities, schools, open space, public squares, as well as 6500 sqm of commercial floor space with shopping, community and leisure amenities.
The event will give residents a chance to meet team members from L&Q (the new partners on the Barking Riverside project) and Barking Riverside London and learn more about future plans for the area, as well as enjoy summer activities and treats provided by the local community. Activities will include vintage and inflatable fair games, face painting and a penalty shoot-out, as well as a free Zumba class from local community group Triangoals. Triangoals will also be giving a dance performance, and residents can look forward to enjoying food from local vendors and free candy floss and pick’n’mix.
The fair will be opened officially at 12 midday by Leader of the Barking and Dagenham Council, Councillor Darren Rodwell, followed by the dance performance from Triangoals at 12.15pm, and the free Zumba class will kick off at 1pm. Residents are then free to explore the other activities until the fair closes at 5pm.
Find the fair on Saturday 9th July at the Rivergate Centre, Barking Riverside, Minter Road, Barking, Essex, IG11 0FJ.