Councillors discuss plans for Rainham's Beam Park development that would 'transform' southern Havering
PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 December 2017
Havering's cabinet discussed ambitious plans to deliver a multi-million pound regeneration project that could transform the south of the borough last night (Weds).
At Havering Town Hall, cabinet members approved in principle a scheme that would see the council enter into a joint venture partnership with Notting Hill Housing Trust to build 774 new homes in Beam Park, along the old A13 in Rainham, as part of a planned 3,500 home development.
The area is one of the Mayor of London’s housing zones.
Part funded by the GLA, at least 35pc of the new homes will be affordable housing – either as low cost to buy or affordable renting – and the aim is to deliver the development without burdening council tax payers.
Negotiations are ongoing with the GLA to secure more funding that could see even more of the development be designated affordable housing.
Now, the ambitious housing scheme will be subject to approval at a meeting of the full council on February 21 2018.
At an exclusive meeting with council leader Councillor Roger Ramsey and a number of Havering’s directors, Cllr Ramsey revealed to the Recorder that Notting Hill had been chosen as the council’s development partners after “a very competitive bidding process”, as he praised their record on delivering high quality homes.
The leader also said businesses will be granted workspaces in the new Beam Park community, with a key focus being on new businesses in the area providing apprenticeships to locals.
If agreed, the joint venture would also create around 37 construction apprenticeships and 77 training places.
Cllr Ramsey said: “I would say this is one of the most ambitious and exciting regeneration schemes this borough has ever embarked upon.
“For too long South Hornchurch has not got the investment it deserves, and that’s because there hasn’t been the same socio-economic climate as there has been elsewhere in the borough.
“But now, with rising house prices in central London and better transport links, developers have begun to see the area’s potential.
“This is a very interesting phase of opportunity for the borough.”
The Beam Park redevelopment would also see a new three form-of-entry primary school built, with plans also in place for primary healthcare and a 2km long linear park to run the length of the development, along the A1306, to help keep the site green.
A new Beam Park Station would also be built and opened on the C2C line’s Rainham branch, and detailed traffic modelling has been carried out in the area to assess the impact of the new community on existing roads.
Steven Moore, Havering’s Director of Neighbourhoods, also stressed to the Recorder that although this development will help the council work towards City Hall’s housing targets, the council is keen to ensure it remains at its heart about helping local people build a tight-knit community.
“This isn’t about building houses, this is about building places,” Mr Moore said.
“To do that we want to listen to local residents, and ensure that what we’re planning meets their needs – not just now, but going forwards into the next 10, 15 years.
“This whole process, where we are constantly consulting with people in that area, is about offering sensible, affordable alternatives for them to use if they choose to do so.”