Havering Council leader Ray Morgon has written to the transport secretary asking him to intervene to keep the Beam Park train station project on track.

The scheme is part of a major redevelopment of the area around a former Ford factory which is set to deliver thousands of homes.

In August, this paper reported that the council, the Greater London Authority (GLA) and the Department for Transport (DfT) had been working on a Terms of Reference regarding the station.

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A GLA spokesperson said then: “The first phase of work, which tackles train operations, is due to begin in the next month, with detailed discussions involving c2c and Network Rail.

“It is likely that these technical meetings will run to the end of the year.”

But Cllr Morgon has now written to transport secretary Mark Harper expressing frustration at the delays faced by the project.

Romford Recorder: Havering Council leader Ray MorgonHavering Council leader Ray Morgon (Image: Havering Council)

In the letter, he said he wants Mr Harper to "demonstrate that you care about the challenging issues faced by this area of east London and intervene to ensure the timetable is kept on track, so that this station can be open by the end of 2025".

A DfT spokesperson said: “We continue to engage with Greater London Authority, c2c and Havering Council on the development of Beam Park station while the business case is still ongoing.”

Cllr Morgon claimed that more than 5,000 new homes depend on the station being opened "to become viable".

Havering's head of strategic development Simon Thelwell unsuccessfully urged Barking and Dagenham's planning committee on December 19 not to approve an extra 950 homes on the site of the former Ford assembly plant.

He said: “Sustainable development can only take place if the development phase can coincide with Beam Park railway station being delivered."

In the letter Cllr Morgon also criticised c2c, the train company which would operate Beam Park station.

He claimed c2c is holding up the scheme and will not approve an operational plan because "there is not enough post-Covid data on railway performance".

The council leader called it "unacceptable" and thinks the station will bring thousands more journeys onto the rail network from Beam Park residents.

He wrote: "It is not reasonable to hold up the whole project until an assessment of performance on the line has been made; it feels like an excuse."

In response, c2c released a statement which said: "All parties involved in the Beam Park development are working together in what are very difficult times for the industry, both financially and in terms of the continuing industrial relations situation."

Uncertainty has surrounded the building of the station for months.

In October 2021, a minister wrote to Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas to say the government had never given its support for the project.

But in March this year, then transport minister Wendy Morton said the GLA must “show it can generate revenue over a continuous three-year period" and fund the “associated operating losses with an indemnity to be agreed”.

Residents have already began moving in at Beam Park, which is also set to feature two schools, park space and a medical centre when complete.