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Housing association to kick-start Barking Riverside with £70m injection

Barking Riverside indicative masterplan_London and Quadrant

Housing association L&Q has replaced Bellway Homes as joint venture partner on a major east London redevelopment in a bid to kick-start construction of almost 11,000 homes.

L&Q will take a 51 per cent stake in the much-delayed Barking Riverside scheme, partnering with the Greater London Authority. The original housing partner Bellway Homes will remain a development partner.

The deal was struck after L&Q committed £70m towards the extension of the London Overground to a new station at Barking Riverside, which is now expected to finish in 2021.

The rail line has been cited as one of the main reasons development had stalled on the site.

Bellway Homes had planned to build 10,800 homes at Barking Riverside when it acquired it in 1994 but its plans were shelved because of the lack of transport links.

A section 106 agreement meant up to 1,500 homes could be built ahead of construction of the Overground extension, but only 800 homes have been delivered so far, according to Barking & Dagenham Council.

In a statement today, Barking Riverside Limited said the fully funded transport programme would “significantly increase the rate of progress on site”.

L&Q wants to quadruple the level of housebuilding on the site to 600 homes a year.

Speaking to Construction News, L&Q development director Jerome Geoghegan said BRL was responsible for getting the numerous plots on the site ready for development.

L&Q will then deliver up to 50 per cent of the new homes. This will either be through its construction arm, its private rented sector business, or with another developer.

Of the 10,800 homes planned for Barking Riverside in total, around a third will be classed as affordable. Mr Geoghegan said the exact split of tenure had yet to be decided.

Housing associations’ ability to deliver affordable housing is expected to come under increasing pressure with a 1 per cent annual cut in social rents coming into effect next month.

Mr Geoghegan said that partnerships were the best way for the housing association to deliver on its ambitious target of delivering 50,000 London homes over the next decade.

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