Barking Riverside is one of the largest development sites in London (185 hectares), and is the largest housing development in the Thames Gateway. It is situated between the A13 and the River Thames.
The vision is for Barking Riverside to provide a model for sustainable living in the 21st century where best practice is used throughout.
Over the next 20 years 10,800 new homes will be built to house 26,000 people. The development will benefit from new transport links such as the East London Transit and the Docklands Light Railway and new primary and secondary schools for children from the new development as well as surrounding areas.
Other new community and commercial facilities will offer a variety of living, working, leisure and cultural amenities.
The development will also make the best use of the site's assets and potential, particularly the river, where residents of Barking and Dagenham will be able to access the Thames riverside for the first time.
Barking Riverside is brownfield land (land that has previously been developed, in this case, the Barking Power Station used to be on this site) and making it developable has required land remediation, site clearance, changes to land levels to plan for flood risk and diversion of services.
The development is being driven forward by Barking Riverside Limited - which is a Joint Venture Company between the Homes and Communities Agency and Bellway Homes.
The project received outline planning permission in August 2007 and Barking Riverside Limited signed a section 106 agreement with the Council, and the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation. The agreement will ensure that:
- At least 30% of housing is family accommodation
- 41% of the total habitable rooms are allocated as affordable housing
- The planning consent recognises the importance of providing high quality public realm and environmental benefits, with 40% of the site designated as open space. It also requires excellent standards of environmental sustainability and carbon reduction.
Further planning applications relating to Stages 1 and 2 were received in 2009. Barking Riverside Limited submitted the Reserved Matters application for the first Local Centre, the Rivergate Centre in December 2009. The decision on this application was made by the Council in February 2010.
These applications provide permission for the first 4,000 homes, which started in February 2010.
The first local centre will consist of a three form entry primary school, nursery, Christian Church, social enterprise café, community development trust offices, Primary Care Trust rooms and other community rooms available for hire. Work on this centre commenced in April 2010 and was completed ready for the school year in September 2011.