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.
Partnership sees new £70m investment in London Overground extension
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has welcomed a new joint venture partnership with London and Quadrant (L&Q) to drive a major regeneration programme and fast-track the building of almost 11,000 new homes at Barking Riverside. Bellway Homes, who were instrumental in setting the site up with planning permission and developing the early phases, will continue to make a significant contribution as a development partner bringing forward plots for market sale.
The 179-hectare former Barking Power station site had lain dormant for more than 35 years, but will now become a significant source of housing provision in the capital following a joint venture agreement between the Greater London Authority (GLA) and L&Q. The development will see the creation of a new town the size of Windsor, delivering 10,800 new homes for Londoners, around a third of which will be affordable. The development also includes 65,000 square metres of commercial, retail and community facilities, one secondary and up to four primary schools, public squares and walkways, and major new highway infrastructure.
The new agreement will see a £70 million investment from L&Q into a £263 million project to deliver the extension of the London Overground to a new station at Barking Riverside, which will be completed by 2021. The extension of the Gospel Oak line from Barking to Barking Riverside has now been fully funded through City Hall, Transport for London and L&Q. Work on the extension begins in 2017 and will put Barking Riverside within 25 minutes of central London. New roads, bus routes and river taxi services will also connect the new neighbourhood to other parts of the capital.
L&Q has taken over a 51 per cent stake in the joint venture from Bellway Homes who retain an option to deliver significant proportion of market sale homes on the site as development partner, and as a supporting contractor for affordable housing units. The new partnership between L&Q and City Hall, combined with a fully funded transport programme, will significantly increase the rate of progress on site. L&Q plans to quadruple the level of housebuilding on site to 600 homes a year.
As a housing association, L&Q’s investment model allows for an unprecedented scale of long-term investment and infrastructure development. The partnership also has the option to access £55 million of funding via the Homes and Communities Agency’s Large Sites Infrastructure Fund, as confirmed by the Chancellor in the 2015 Autumn Statement, which has helped to accelerate development on the site.
The site is among the 414-hectares inherited by the Mayor in 2012, all of which has now been released to the market and will deliver 50,000 homes to 125,000 Londoners.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, said: ““This major development clearly demonstrates the vital importance of transport infrastructure in unlocking brownfield land in London. Having languished empty for far too long, this former power station site is now ripe and ready not only to deliver thousands of new much-needed new homes, but creating jobs and growth in a whole new bustling town in east London.”
David Montague, Chief Executive of L&Q, said: “We’re delighted to help lead one of the largest and most ambitious regeneration schemes in Europe. Barking Riverside will deliver almost 11,000 homes for Londoners and make an enormous contribution to support efforts to increase housing supply in the capital. The potential of the project is enormous and – as a leading housing association and developer – we have the vision and financial strength to make a long-term investment and commitment to help fulfil that potential.
“We’re setting out to quadruple the speed of delivery of new homes and that starts with investing in the critical transport infrastructure to connect Barking Riverside with the rest of the capital. The scheme is a significant step in delivering L&Q’s promise to build a pipeline of 50,000 new homes in the next 10 years.”
Ted Ayres, Chief Executive at Bellway said: “We’re pleased to continue our involvement in this landmark project for London. Having played a significant and instrumental role in taking Barking Riverside through planning and into its initial stages of delivery, we will now be focused on bringing forward a series of housing phases in partnership with the GLA, L&Q and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.”
Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Councillor Darren Rodwell, said: “Barking Riverside is a key regeneration scheme, not just for Barking and Dagenham but for London, and it’s fantastic that L&Q has become a part of it as I am sure that they will bring both ambition and long term commitment to the area. Their £70 million investment to complete the funding needed to extend the London Overground – connecting Barking Riverside with the rest of London – is something which will be of considerable benefit to both the existing community and those thinking of moving here.”
L&Q’s investment at Barking Riverside is part of its five-year plan to accelerate its output and deliver 50,000 new homes over the next decade. Last year, L&Q issued a bond of £250 million with a 34-year deal to support its growth plans.
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Notes to editors
- L&Q is a leading residential developer in London and the South East. For over 50 years, L&Q has been driven by its mission to create places where people want to live. Today it continues to help shape one of the most exciting, diverse and dynamic capitals in the world.
- L&Q creates high quality homes for people across a whole range of incomes, leads major residential and mixed-use developments, and is committed to delivering a 50,000-home pipeline in the next decade.
- L&Q invests for the long term. It uses its significant investment capacity to unlock major infrastructure projects and create entirely new places.
- L&Q is a long term investor – driving up quality and value for generations to come. Its thoughtful, award-wining approach creates thriving communities which help make this country an even better place to live. As a charitable housing association, every surplus penny is invested back into providing more new homes for everyone and services for its residents.
- Bellway is a FTSE 250 listed national housebuilder and has become the fourth largest volume housebuilding Group in the UK, constructing and selling more than 140,000 homes over the past 70 years. The company has its headquarters in Newcastle upon Tyne.
- Bellway operates from 17 trading divisions throughout the UK and constructs and sells high quality homes to suit a variety of budgets and tastes, from one-bedroomed apartments up to five-bedroomed family homes, including the provision of social housing throughout the country.
- Bellway employs over 2,100 employees and indirectly engages a substantial number of other workers via sub-contract arrangements.