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The redevelopment will deliver 141 new homes across a mix of tenures, as well as improvements to the public realm, a new pharmacy and a bus station. The proposed masterplan covers six parcels of land to the north and south of Wood Lane, running between Barking and Dagenham Civic Centre and the Becontree Health Leisure Centre. It will replace the inward looking post-war housing estates and poorly defined streets with high quality new homes, an integrated new streetscape and landscaped amenity space that connects with the wider area.
Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Councillor Cameron Geddes, said: “The selection of Countryside and Newlon Housing Trust as our preferred bidder for the Becontree Heath scheme is an important step towards the regeneration of the estate and the Council’s commitment to ultimately deliver thousands of much needed new homes across the borough.”
Richard Cherry, Chief Executive of Partnerships at Countryside, said: “Our vision for Becontree Heath is to establish a distinctive, high quality place with its own unique character and identity that is fully integrated with the local area. We will continue to work closely with the council, as well as consulting with the public, to ensure we deliver the right development for local people.”
A rich variety of new homes is proposed, providing for a range of household types, from family houses with front doors onto the street and private gardens, to apartments with courtyard gardens and balconies. These will be provided in mix of private and shared ownership, as well as affordable rental homes. All will be built to high standards of sustainability making them cost-effective to run and environmentally responsible and 10% will be designed to be accessible for wheelchair users.
Caroline Pennock, Director of Business Development at Newlon Housing Trust said: “We are pleased to have been named preferred partner alongside Countryside, who we have worked with extensively, with one recent project being the nearby and highly successful Castle Green Place scheme in Dagenham. Our plans will deliver new affordable homes for local people looking to take a first step on the property ladder, as well as fostering a sense of community that will make this a place people are proud to call home.”
Designed by Stitch Architects, the development seeks to create a strong east-west link between the leisure centre and the civic centre by creating an active streetscape that integrates with the surroundings. The site benefits from its location next to the 40 hectare public green open space of Central Park. The designs focus on creating an environment that is attractive and safe with new pedestrian links, good surveillance, landscaping that includes play areas and parking provision. Architecture will take cues from the Dagenham Civic Centre, a prominent local landmark with distinctive brick details and Art Deco features.
Sally Lewis from Stitch said: “What is lacking in the area is a sense of cohesion and 'place' and our design approach is to create new and distinctive street frontages that visually link the various disparate sites together, and reference the handsome Civic Centre building. The new homes and associated landscapes will be attractive, robust and consistent to bring a new character and identity to the area, and seamlessly integrate the new with the old.”
Countryside and Newlon, together with the council, will now consult with the community and further develop the proposals before the outline planning application is submitted.