Beam Park: First homes to go on sale later this year as work begins on controversial Rainham and Dagenham estate
PUBLISHED: 17:00 05 March 2019
Plans for 3,000 homes at the new Beam Park estate have been signed off, with developers announcing the first new builds will go on sale later this year.
The controversial new estate, which would run across Rainham in southern Havering and the old Ford site in Barking and Dagenham, has now had its planning consent officially granted with the signing of a Section 106 agreement.
In April last year, Havering’s planning committee had thrown out plans for the estate, citing fears over looming tower blocks out of character with the surrounding area.
However, in May 2018 London’s deputy mayor for housing, Jules Pipe CBE, called in the application – taking planning powers away from either Havering or Barking and Dagenham councils – and granted planning permission at a public meeting at City Hall on September 28 last year.
At 29 hectares, or 71.1 acres, Beam Park was the second largest housing development in London to be granted planning permission in 2018.
Preparatory works on the site are now under way before construction can begin, which will transform the derelict site of the former Ford manufacturing plant.
The development is also one of only three in the capital to offer 50pc affordable housing, equating to 1,513 affordable homes across the estate.
Construction is expected to begin this spring, and sales of new homes are due to launch later this year, with the first homes ready in 2020.
Phase one of the development, providing 640 new homes in Rainham, is due to be completed by 2022.
By the time Beam Park is fully completed in 2030, it will provide a new railway station on the C2C line heading into London Fenchurch Street, as well as a medical centre which will not only serve the new community, but up to 7,000 people from the surrounding area.
The last five phases of construction will not be permitted to begin until the new Beam Park station is fully operational.
Two schools, a number of shopfronts, a gym, nursery, community facilities, a multi-faith space, and two energy centres will also be delivered.
The plans also put aside 44pc of the developed area as publicly accessible green space, including a three-hectare central park in the heart of the development with the River Beam running through it.
The scheme is a joint partnership between housing association L&Q, which will operate all of the site’s 1,513 affordable homes, and Countryside, one of the UK’s largest homebuilders.
Robert Wilkinson, Countryside’s managing director, said: “Together with our partners L&Q and the Mayor of London, we are delighted to have received the green light for our transformational plans at Beam Park, which celebrate the rich history of the renowned Ford factory plant and help regenerate this part of the capital.
“Our firm commitment to delivering 50pc affordable housing will make a huge contribution to meeting local housing needs.
“We are currently preparing the site to ensure our work delivers according to the prescribed schedule.
“With sales for the new homes launching this year, it is envisaged that the first homes will be completed towards the end of the year and the full development to be finished by 2030.”
L&Q’s Andy Rowland added: “The redevelopment of this site, which will provide 50pc affordable housing, will make a substantial contribution towards London’s housing needs.
“L&Q’s vision is that everyone has a quality home that they can afford. We look forward to working closely with our partners to create a successful new community with benefits for new and existing residents.”
Havering Council planning officers had previously criticised the proposals for Beam Park’s tower blocks as “too height-focussed”, and stressed that any approval of the plans would set “an undesirable precedent” for future development in the borough.
Speaking after the Mayor’s office granted planning permission against Havering Council’s wishes, Councillor Damian White, leader of Havering Council, said: “This is yet another example of how the Mayor’s one-size-fits-all approach to regeneration fails to recognise the different needs and requirements of communities in Havering and many other outer London boroughs.”
In stark contrast to this, Barking and Dagenham Council has always supported the scheme.
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