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London rail extension unlocks Barking housing deal

Barking Riverside masterplan

A new £70M investment has helped unlock a deal that will see London Overground extended to Barking Riverside and 11,000 new homes built. 

The investment is being made by developer London and Quadrant (L&Q) as part of a new joint venture (JV) partnership with the London Mayor’s office that aims to fast track regeneration at the 179ha site of the former Barking Power station in east London.

The £70M contribution will go toward a £263M project to extend the Gospel Oak line from Barking to a new station at Barking Riverside, due to complete by 2021. City Hall and Transport for London are contributing the remaining funds. Work on the extension begins in 2017 and will put Barking Riverside within 25 minutes of central London.

“This major development clearly demonstrates the vital importance of transport infrastructure in unlocking brownfield land in London,” said London mayor Boris Johnson. “Having languished empty for far too long, this former power station site is now ripe and ready not only to deliver thousands of new much-needed new homes, but creating jobs and growth in a whole new bustling town in east London.”

The development will create a new town the size of Windsor, including 10,800 new homes for Londoners, around a third of which will be affordable. The development also includes 65,000m2 of commercial, retail and community facilities, one secondary and up to four primary schools, public squares and walkways, and major new highway infrastructure.

L&Q has taken over a 51% stake in the JV from Bellway Homes, which aided the scheme in the planning and development phase and will continue as development partner. As a housing association, L&Q’s investment model allows for long-term investment and infrastructure development, it said in a statement. The partnership also has the option to access £55M of funding via the Homes and Communities Agency’s Large Sites Infrastructure Fund, as confirmed by the Chancellor in the 2015 Autumn Statement, which has helped accelerate development on the site.

“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,” said L&Q chief executive David Montague. “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.”


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