Property spotlight: The origins of Havering’s planned garden city 

Elm Park was designed by Costains in the 1930s, to provide homes for London's workers

Elm Park was developed by Costains in the 1930s to provide homes for London's workers - Credit: Ben Lynch

Planned as a suburban community primarily for homeowners in the 1930s, Elm Park did not get off to the start envisaged for the project. 

Developed by Costains with financial aid from Halifax Building Society, Elm Park was designed to provide a new, rural suburb for London’s workers. 

However, despite its grand intentions of catering for 35,000 people, when Elm Park was first launched in 1935, only 500 homes had been built.  

Costains donated Harrow Lodge Park to the area

Costains also donated Harrow Lodge Park to the area - Credit: Ben Lynch

Two factors which accelerated the development of Elm Park over the following years were the Ford’s factory in Dagenham, and the extension of the District line, with the station in Elm Park formally opened on May 18, 1935. 

A further 2,100 houses were built by 1939, enhancing its status such that Costains referred to it as Elm Park Garden City. 

Elm Park remains an attractive location today, and according to property website Rightmove, homes in the area were bought for an average of £390,322 over the last year. 

This represents a rise of two per cent compared to the previous 12 months, and six pc up on the 2019 peak of £366,962. 

Looking up The Broadway in Elm Park

Looking up The Broadway in Elm Park - Credit: Ben Lynch