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Green light for Morris + Co’s Barking affordable housing scheme

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Morris + Company has secured consent for 56 affordable rented homes on a corner site in east London

The Woodward Road scheme, for Barking and Dagenham Council’s regeneration company BeFirst regeneration vehicle, was granted planning permission at a virtual meeting recently.

It will create a small row of mews houses ranging from one to three storeys as well as apartment blocks of up to four floors on a largely vacant site within the Becontree Estate in Dagenham. A house and two community halls that stood on the plot were demolished in recent months.

The locally listed former Barking Library – currently used as a furniture recycling centre – will be converted into community use and extended.

Morris + Company said the ‘quiet and considered’ buildings would ‘create a rich backdrop to the everyday activities of their owners’.

The north London practice added: ‘In response to the architectural language and the materiality of the Becontree Estate, a coherent palette of reddish brickwork, clay tiles, precast concrete, powder-coated metalwork and painted timber line the façades.

‘Metalwork will feature a common ribbon-like appearance across balustrades, brise soleil and bin doors.’

Planning officers backed the proposals in a report to councillors.

‘The scale, siting and design of the development is considered appropriate to the site’s context and will result in a high-quality finish while respecting the amenity of neighbouring occupiers,’ they said in a report.

‘The proposal would comprise 100 per cent affordable units, which is considered to meet an identified need in the borough.’

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee is currently undertaking an inquiry to examine the long-term delivery of social and affordable rented housing. The Shelter charity has warned that more than 3 million new social homes would need to be built in just 20 years to address anticipated need.

New housing minister Christopher Pincher this week pledged to analyse whether fewer affordable homes would be built because developers have been allowed to defer certain commitments during the Covid-19 crisis.

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