Town Quay Scheme Hits New Heights on the Roding Riviera: More Affordable Homes on the Way

Be First, the regeneration arm of Barking and Dagenham Council, along with partner Weston Homes, have reached a key milestone on their Town Quay development, set to bring 147 new homes to Barking. Building on the 11-storey block, which Be First have acquired on behalf of the Council, has now reached the top floor, and a ‘Topping Out’ event was held on site to celebrate.
Construction of the 11-storey principal building, which Be First have acquired on behalf of the Council, has now reached the top floor, and a ‘Topping Out’ event was held on site to celebrate. In a novel approach to the topping out ceremony, Weston Homes placed a 1950s style retro coffee and ice cream trailer-van on the roof of the building to celebrate its successful delivery for Be First.

Joining the event were leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Darren Rodwell, Councillor Cameron Geddes, Geoff Raw, Managing Director of Be First and Interim Director of Development at Be First, David Harley. Alongside them were senior directors from Weston Homes including Bob Weston, Chairman & Managing Director, Peter Gore, Group Operations Director, Suzanne Aplin, Group Sales & Marketing Director and David Girling, Head of Partnership Development.

The scheme will provide 62 affordable units on a ‘turnkey’ basis to the Council, whereby Weston Homes will build and deliver the completed units to the Council. Of these, 29 of the affordable apartments will meet the London Affordable Rent standard and 33 will be shared ownership.

Once completed, the whole Town Quay site will be transformed into a £53m (Gross Development Value) mixed-use development providing 147 newly built apartments, affordable and market sale, and 1,000 sqm of commercial space with 42 per cent affordable housing designed around a public plaza overlooking Town Quay and the River Roding in an area the Leader of the Council describes as the ‘Roding Riviera’.

Designed by PRP Architects, Town Quay will reconnect Barking town centre to the waterfront. The new development will boast three “striking” new buildings, an 11-storey and two 7-storey buildings respectively, with pedestrian boulevards between them, opening onto the new public plaza on the waterfront.

All the apartments at Town Quay will feature contemporary, open plan living areas, opening onto balconies or terraces, and are finished to the highest specification, with modern London living in mind including superfast full-fibre broadband. On the ground floor of the buildings there will be food and beverage commercial units, workshops and artist’s studios, parking bays and cycle storage.

The guests were able to enjoy coffees, bacon sandwiches and other refreshments on the roof of the building provided by Weston Homes bespoke ‘Airstream’ retro mobile coffee and ice cream trailer-van, manufactured by The Big Coffee Company, which the company uses to provide refreshment at corporate functions and charity events. The mirror chrome coffee trailer-van is based on the iconic 1950s retro American caravan and is branded with the Weston Homes livery.

Along the waterfront, immediately to the north of Town Quay, is another landmark Weston Homes development, known as Abbey Quay. Well underway, with the initial apartment buildings now completed, Abbey Quay is a £350 million (GDV) 6-acre riverside urban village providing 1,089 new homes, complete with landscaped gardens and terraces and 36,920 sq.ft. of commercial space with units for new local retail and leisure businesses.

Built on a brownfield site, this ambitious scheme won the Gold award for ‘Best Sustainable Development’ in the 2023 WhatHouse? Awards, which aligns with Barking and Dagenham Council’s goal to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Cllr Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, said: “The Town Quay and Abbey Quay projects show how private-public partnerships can work effectively to deliver high quality affordable housing for local families, alongside market sale housing and commercial units for new local retailers and other businesses. These two landmark projects are part of the ongoing regeneration of the River Roding waterfront where it flows through Barking. Previously the River Roding in Barking was comprised of derelict industrial land, and it was our vision at Barking and Dagenham Council to see it revitalised through inward investment and transformed into a new destination providing homes, commercial units and landscaped gardens for the local community. Now this local waterfront has been opened up and returned to the people of Barking.”

David Harley, Interim Director of Development at Be First said: “Town Quay is an important historic site overlooking the River Roding and Abbey Green.  At Be First we are continuing to deliver for Barking and Dagenham, with modern, well-built, safe and affordable new homes. It’s great to reach this milestone in spite of the current economic challenges and in addition to the over 900 homes Be First will complete this year.”

Bob Weston, Chairman & Managing Director of Weston Homes, says: “Weston Homes is delighted to be partnering with Barking and Dagenham Council to help regenerate the River Roding waterfront and open up the river for the local community with new homes, commercial units and waterfront gardens and plazas. Town Quay is a flagship project demonstrating how private-public partnerships can deliver both market sale and affordable homes for the benefit of local people and the economy of Barking. I am pleased to welcome Councillor Darren Rodwell, Leader of LBBD, to Town Quay as it is his leadership and vision which has been instrumental in making Barking one of the best places to live in London, which was recognised recently by The Sunday Times in their annual Best Places to Live awards.”

For further information on Weston Homes, click here.

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