L&Q has committed to invest £70m into a £263m project to deliver the extension of the London Overground rail service to a new station at Barking Riverside, which will be completed by 2021.
The 179-hectare former Barking Power station site had lain dormant for more than 35 years, but will now become a significant source of housing provision in the capital following a joint venture agreement between the Greater London Authority (GLA) and L&Q.
Bellway Homes, which was instrumental in setting the site up with planning permission and developing the early phases, will continue to be involved as a development partner, bringing forward plots for market sale.
Some 10,800 new homes are planned for the Barking Riverside development eventually, along with 65,000 square metres of commercial, retail and community facilities, one secondary and up to four primary schools, as well as public squares, walkways and new highway infrastructure.
The extension of the Gospel Oak rail line from Barking to Barking Riverside has now been fully funded through City Hall, Transport for London and L&Q. Work on the extension begins in 2017 and will put Barking Riverside within 25 minutes of central London.
L&Q said that it plans to develop the site more quickly than Bellway had been willing or able. L&Q plans to quadruple the level of housebuilding on site from 150 to 600 homes a year.
L&Q chief executive David Montague said: “We’re delighted to help lead one of the largest and most ambitious regeneration schemes in Europe. Barking Riverside will deliver almost 11,000 homes for Londoners and make an enormous contribution to support efforts to increase housing supply in the capital. The potential of the project is enormous and – as a leading housing association and developer – we have the vision and financial strength to make a long-term investment and commitment to help fulfil that potential.
“We’re setting out to quadruple the speed of delivery of new homes and that starts with investing in the critical transport infrastructure to connect Barking Riverside with the rest of the capital. The scheme is a significant step in delivering L&Q’s promise to build a pipeline of 50,000 new homes in the next 10 years.”
Bellway chief executive Ted Ayres said: “We’re pleased to continue our involvement in this landmark project for London. Having played a significant and instrumental role in taking Barking Riverside through planning and into its initial stages of delivery, we will now be focused on bringing forward a series of housing phases in partnership with the GLA, L&Q and the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham.”
Barking & Dagenham Council leader Darren Rodwell said: “Barking Riverside is a key regeneration scheme, not just for Barking and Dagenham but for London, and it’s fantastic that L&Q has become a part of it as I am sure that they will bring both ambition and long term commitment to the area. Their £70m investment to complete the funding needed to extend the London Overground – connecting Barking Riverside with the rest of London – is something which will be of considerable benefit to both the existing community and those thinking of moving here.”
L&Q’s investment at Barking Riverside is part of its five-year plan to accelerate its output and deliver 50,000 new homes over the next decade. Last year, it issued £250m bond with a 34-year deal to support its growth plans.