Beam Park estate developers applying to increase size of Rainham and Dagenham development's tower blocks
PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 August 2019
Developers building Dagenham and Rainham's controversial Beam Park estate have applied for permission to make four of the 3,000-home development's proposed tower blocks higher.
An application to vary a number of the conditions previously imposed on the project was submitted to both Havering and Barking and Dagenham councils on July 22, with site notices and public notices in the press appearing on Friday, August 23.
Countryside Properties and housing association L&Q have applied for permission to increase a five-storey block to eight storeys, a three-storey block to seven storeys, a four-storey block to nine storeys and a nine-storey block to 15 storeys.
The move is part of a bid to provide 198 more homes than initially approved in the second phase of the development - building 330 instead of the initially agreed upon 132.
However, the developers insist the final total of 3,000 homes which they have permission to build will not be exceeded.
The 330 homes being built in this phase will have 193 parking spaces "for both visitors and dwellings".
Under the new proposals, two of the plots of land originally meant to hold terraced houses will be also be altered - one to another block of villa style apartments, and the second one removed from the site's masterplan entirely.
In the foreword of the masterplan document the developers supplied alongside their application, Countryside and L&Q write: "The aim is to transform Beam Park from a brownfield site into an attractive, well connected, sustainable place for people to live, work and socialise; helping to regenerate the surrounding area and create a step-change in the perception of London Riverside."
The planned Beam Park estate - running across Rainham in Havering and the old Ford site in Barking and Dagenham - was the subject of a long and complex planning battle.
Havering Council originally refused to grant planning permission for the site over fears that the proposal's high tower blocks would lead to the entire development becoming what one member of the planning committee dubbed "a carbuncle".
Havering's decision to reject planning permission for the site was called in by the Mayor of London's office - meaning all previous planning decisions were disregarded and the matter would be decided by the GLA planning and regeneration team.
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Once the Mayor of London's office had taken over planning responsibilities for the site, Countryside actually increased the height of some of the tower blocks in the application with the highest tower stretching to 16 storeys.
Objectors claimed the high blocks would be "totally out of sync" with the surrounding area, and would set "a dangerous precedent" for developers to be able to game the system and reduce local authorities' powers.
Despite this, at a special City Hall hearing on September 28 2018, London's deputy mayor for planning Jules Pipe CBE approved the application.
Barking and Dagenham - where all the blocks set to be increased in height are - has never objected to the development.
The proposed changes relate to phase 2B of the estate's construction.
There will be eight phases in total before the entire Beam Park development is complete.
Phase one of the development, providing 640 new homes in Rainham, is due to be finished by 2022.
The finished Beam Park neighbourhood will also include two primary schools, a health centre, a leisure complex and a linear park running along the old A13.
As well as this, a new station on c2c's London Fenchurch Street to Southend line will be opened to ease traffic and infrastructure fears.
The last five phases of construction will not be permitted to begin until the new Beam Park station is fully operational
In July this year it was revealed that more than three quarters of the first wave of homes to be built at Beam Park had already been sold.
Anyone who wishes to comment on the altered application must send their views to Planning Control, Mercury House, Mercury Gardens, Romford, RM1 3SL, or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 7.