Plans to provide “a more vibrant, buzzing town centre” in the heart of Barking have taken a step forward, as proposals for new homes, shops and a public square were approved.
Barking and Dagenham Council’s planning committee approved proposals in March to demolish Crown House in Barking, to redevelop the site and neighbouring Linton Road car park.
Crown House is an office block from the 1960s that will be replaced by 396 homes in new high-rise buildings.
Plans were submitted by Be First, the council’s regeneration company, and the building’s existing leaseholder Lightquote, which will create homes for private rent.
Be First intends to build 169 affordable and shared ownership homes for the council on the Linton Road car park, consisting of 80 one-bedroom, 71 two-bedroom and 18 three-bedroom flats.
Barking and Dagenham Council's leader, Councillor Darren Rodwell, said: “The proposals to demolish Crown House are a vital part of our plans to boost the provision of affordable homes and rejuvenate a neglected part of Barking town centre.
“We are putting our money where our mouth is by building for the many and not the few.
“In the town centre we need a genuine mix of housing which will provide a more vibrant, buzzing town centre.
“By offering a wide range of housing options, we are providing more opportunities for local families to put down their roots and call Barking and Dagenham home.”
The Crown House development will include two towers, 20-storey and 29-storey in height, and provide office space, shops as well as a public square, play facilities and landscaping improvements.
Pat Hayes, managing director of Be First, said: “Crown House is one of many developments happening in the heart of Barking.
“With artists’ housing, new cinemas and genuinely affordable homes coming soon, we are building a better Barking for all.”
A spokesperson for Lightquote said: “We’re delighted this project has now been approved and we look forward to delivering a range of top-quality homes just yards from Barking station.
“Together with the improved public realm and commercial premises, it will give a real boost to the development of the town centre.”
The Crown House development plans include retaining the distinctive and historic Grade II-listed Tabernacle Church which is next door to the site.
Plans will now be referred to the mayor of London for approval, and Be First and Lightquote hope to appoint contractors this month (April).
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