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Barking homing in on regeneration first

Development could be rolled out using local housing company

A regeneration scheme in east London looks set to pave the way for Britain's first local housing company.

The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham is expected to appoint a winning bidder this month for The Lintons, a £125 million environmentally friendly mixed-use development in Barking town centre.

House builders, developers and contractors have bid for the deal, to regenerate a 2.5 ha site next to Barking railway station.

However, the winning firm may find itself working with Barking & Dagenham as part of a local housing company, one of 14 such companies that are set to be launched in a pilot scheme following an announcement by the Department of Communities and Local Government last month.

Under the scheme, local authorities will form partnerships with one or more house builders or developers to redevelop council-owned land.

The private sector would provide the funding and would share any gains made with the council. Up to 50 per cent of all homes would be affordable, helping local authorities to meet their housing

Ken Baikie, group manager of area regeneration for Barking and Dagenham, said: "We are looking to set up a business plan for the local housing company and The Lintons could be the first site to be folded into that model, although we are keeping all of our options open. We hope to have a preferred developer in place by Christmas."

The Barking masterplan has been developed by consultant Halcrow, along with architects Urhahn, Maccreanor Lavington and Karakusevic Carson.

A planning application for an enterprise centre and 70 flats will be submitted this month.