East London borough consults on plans to almost double housing target

A London borough is to consult on a draft version of its local plan that would see it's housing target almost double from current levels.

Barking town centre. Image by Julian Walker, Flickr
Barking town centre. Image by Julian Walker, Flickr

The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham has voted to seek views on the draft plan, which proposes delivering more than 33,765 homes between 2019 and 2034 – equivalent to 2,251 a year.

This is a rise of 89 per cent on the annual target of 1,190 homes a year included in the current plan, adopted by the council in 2010 and covering the period to 2025.

To cope with the sharp increase, the draft document sets out a stepped trajectory, with a different target for each five years of the 15-year plan.

The document says: "This is to ensure that planned housing requirements are met fully within the plan period based on local circumstances."

The draft London Plan has identified that the borough has the capacity to deliver 22,640 homes between 2019 and 2029 – a figure of 2,264 homes each year.

The draft Barking and Dagenham plan would see an annual delivery target of 2,380 homes in the first five years, rising to 3,350 between 2024 and 2029.

For the remaining years of the plan (2029-24), the document proposes the annual delivery of 2,770 homes, using the government’s standard methodology for calculating housing need.

The draft plan says: "The council aims to improve housing delivery within the borough by capitalising on opportunities provided by investment in, and regeneration of, its underutilised industrial land and existing town centres."

Barking and Dagenham Council undertook a call for sites between May and June, and the draft document said the authority will undertake detailed assessments on the submitted sites after the current consultation.

The housing policies in the draft plan include a requirement for 1,581 affordable homes per year, pushing for 50 per cent on-site provision.

A total of seven sub-areas have been identified within the plan area, covering: Barking town centre and the river Roding; Thames and Barking Riverside; Dagenham Dock, Beam Park and the Ford Stamping Plant; Becontree; Chadwell Heath and Marks Gate; Becontree Heath and Rush Green; and Dagenham East and Dagenham Village.

Within each of these sub-areas, the plan says it would allocate a number of strategic sites and specify where supplementary planning documents, design codes and other intervention strategies should be prepared.

A policy on employment sites says the council’s "preference is to resist development proposals which would result in the net loss of viable employment floorspace, particularly affordable and low-cost workspace".

However, it adds it may consider proposals that can clearly demonstrate a site is genuinely unsuitable for continued employment use.

A further policy aims to limit the number of hot food takeaways, betting shops and pay day loan shops. This includes a hot food takeaway exclusion zone around primary and secondary schools and other educational facilities.

The consultation will run from 29 November to 29 February. 

Last month, Westminster City Council voted to submit its new draft City Plan for examination. A consultation last year prompted changes to the document including a relaxed maximum size limit on new homes plus stronger environmental and affordable housing targets.

Also last month, Planning reported that the London Borough of Croydon is considering releasing green belt land for 5,350 new homes in a review of its local plan in order to accommodate a 40 per cent hike in its annual housing need figure.

NOTE: This article was updated at 1.45pm on Friday 29 November to make clear that the consultation on the draft plan runs until 29 February and not 4 January as previously stated. 


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