Barking To Be Transformed Into ‘Urban Village’

Weston Homes has unveiled its plans for a major new London development site, providing over 1,000 new homes of mixed tenure. The housebuilder has agreed with Estates & Agency Properties Limited to acquire two neighbouring land sites, extending to circa 6 acres, on the edge of Barking Town Centre at Abbey Road.

Forming the majority part of the former Abbey Retail Park, this 6 acre site is bordered by London Road and Abbey Road, where it overlooks the Abbey Green public open space. It also fronts onto the River Roding, a tributary of the River Thames. The site is situated just a short walk from Barking’s mainline and London underground station.

Plans for this site are at a formative stage, but the housebuilder envisages the creation of a £300 million (GDV) waterfront development expected to deliver in excess of 1,000 homes through a mixture of tenures. The proposals will also include the transformation of the riverside and the provision of a range of community based activities including a new riverside gastro-pub/restaurant and retail space. The redeveloped site will be complete with waterfront promenade, pedestrian pathways and landscaped grounds.

Weston Homes intend to submit a full planning application in the summer of 2018, and the application will be one of the largest submitted to Be First, London Borough of Barking & Dagenham’s pioneering urban regeneration company. If permission is granted, construction will start on site during 2019.

Weston Homes will now liaise with the local community and work closely with London Borough of Barking & Dagenham and Be First to create a new vision and future for the site.

Bob Weston, Chairman & Chief Executive of Weston Homes says:

The regeneration of this important Gateway site into a new waterfront urban village adjacent to Barking Town Centre forms part of the Borough Council’s vision of bringing aspirational waterfront living and regeneration to Barking.”

Barking To Be Transformed Into ‘Urban Village’

Bob Weston continues: “The Abbey Retail Park is within the so-called “Barking Smile regeneration zone” and the redevelopment of the site will create a vibrant new community in Barking, contributing to the area’s ongoing transformation. Attracting new people and inward investment, this new residential destination for Barking will provide private sale homes and much needed affordable housing for local people and families on lower household incomes.”

LBBD Councillor Darren Rodwell said:

This is great news, and while we would need more detail, it’s another sign that Barking and Dagenham is booming.”

“It also dovetails into our wider plans to create a vibrant waterside community there – a kind of Roding Riviera for ordinary Londoners.”

Weston Homes has a track record of delivery in Barking and this will be the company’s eighth residential development in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. In recent times the company transformed a former college building into Mayesbrook Manor, providing 106 one, two and three bedroom apartments.

In 2016 Weston Homes secured planning permission for the redevelopment of the former Abbey Road Industrial Estate into new residential accommodation, now known as Rivermill Lofts, a waterfront scheme of 117 one and two apartment apartments for private sale and affordable housing. This project was launched to the market in 2017, with effectively all private sale homes now successfully sold.

John Rosefield, Chairman of Estates & Agency Properties Limited, says: “Having been involved in Barking and is regeneration for so many years, we are delighted to have entrusted the redevelopment of this Gateway Site to Weston Homes, who have established a proven record for quality and successful delivery.”

The Abbey Retail Park site falls within the Barking Town Centre Action Plan and is identified in the London Riverside Opportunity Area Planning Framework plans. In Tudor times the site was a wharf servicing the adjacent Barking Abbey and village.

By the 19th century the site was part of a vibrant fishing port, becoming an industrial zone during the Victorian area and thereafter. The retail park was built during the 1980s providing retail warehouses and associated parking.

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