Beam Park boost as council agrees to buy more than 900 homes
- Credit: Countryside and L&Q
The Beam Park development has been given a boost after a council decided to buy more than 900 homes set to be built there.
Barking and Dagenham Council has entered a partnership deal with Countryside and L&Q to purchase 936 homes across three phases of the regeneration project.
The move comes despite uncertainty remaining over the future of the planned Beam Park train station.
A Westminster Hall debate in January, secured by Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas, saw then parliamentary under-secretary of state for transport Wendy Morton emphasise the Department for Transport's position that it wants to be held immune from any financial risk associated with the station.
This paper reported last year that minister Chris Heaton-Harris had written to Mr Cruddas, who is among those calling for the station to be built, saying the government had never supported the station.
City Hall, which has committed £43m of funding to the station, is continuing to work with the DfT to “find a way forward”, a Mayor of London spokesperson said in January.
More than 230 homes have been completed out of 3,000 set to be constructed at Beam Park, which is intended to also have two schools, a multi-faith centre and a 3.5 hectare park when finished.
Havering Council has already withdrawn a compulsory purchase order it made to buy land at Beam Park for 880 homes.
A spokesperson for Be First, Barking and Dagenham Council's regeneration arm, said its "turnkey" deal with Countryside and L&Q "removed the construction risk element of the build process".
They said it had negotiated a fixed price, which would not change during each of the three phases of the build.
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Be First declined to reveal the costs due to "commercial sensitivity".
When asked why the council was proceeding despite the station uncertainty, the spokesperson said: “We are sure common sense will prevail and the Beam Park station will be funded, as is it vital to the delivery of the whole development and the regeneration of the western end of Havering.
"The homes we purchased are within 500 metres to the existing station at Dagenham Dock and a wealth of buses and other transport options."
Half of the 936 homes will be 'affordable' and the other half will be at market rent.
Be First's development director Ed Skeates said: “So far all the works have been in Havering and with this deal we have been able to accelerate the project significantly and will now see the development start in Barking and Dagenham on a major scale.”