Brownfield site could be developed by local firm

One of the largest brownfield development sites in Europe could be regenerated by a local firm, Barking Riverside Limited, English Partnerships has announced.

The company has applied for planning permission to develop the 443-acre Barking Riverside site, which is a key development area for the UK as well as for Thames Gateway.

Barking Riverside Limited has produced a master plan to establish a new community at the site, comprising new homes, community facilities and employment opportunities.

The project will deliver many high quality homes, a significant proportion of which will be affordable and made available for key local workers.

For the first time, the borough of Barking and Dagenham will also be provided with access to 2km of the river frontage, and open spaces covering around 40% of the site, which is about 140 acres, will also be available for community use.

The plan, which will take an estimated 20 years to complete, should see the creation of a vibrant, sustainable community, comprising approximately 10,800 new mixed-tenure homes within a high quality mixed-use urban environment.

There will also be a range of community facilities, including shopping, employment, leisure opportunities and environmental benefits, which will all be supported by new, integrated transport links.

“There is provision in the master plan for plenty of public green space, children’s play areas and cycle-ways,” one of Barking Riverside Limited’s directors, Roger Bond stated. “The proposed plan for this site includes a significant area of green and open space for use as an amenity by resident and the wider community.”

“The four key elements to the green space proposals on the 150-hectare site include plans for a park linking all areas of the site with cycle links, footpaths, parks and sports areas.”

Public consultation also played a significant role in the planning procedure in order to ensure the project was well integrated with surrounding communities. Two public exhibitions were held on four separate dates and nearly 45,000 newsletters were issued to the existing neighbourhood.

Steve Oakes, spokesman for English Partnerships, said that many of the suggestions made by local people were incorporated into the plan.

“We are please to have received so much positive feedback from local people,” he commented. “I would like to thank everyone that completed our questionnaire at the exhibitions last year – we read and considered each and every comment.”

By Jane Kettle

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