Countryside Properties Gets The Go-ahead in Barking

freshwharfCountryside Properties has been granted outline planning permission by the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation (LTGDC) for Fresh Wharf, Barking, a joint development between Countryside Properties and Fresh Wharf Developments Ltd. The permission is subject to completion of a satisfactory Section 106 agreement and referral to the Mayor of London.

The concept design proposals for the 4.4ha (11 acre) former industrial site in Highbridge Road have been produced jointly by Jestico + Whiles and Glenn Howells Architects and the project includes up to 950 new homes, 1,987 sq m of new retail and leisure space and 1,616 sq m of new community space. The community space includes a potential nursery school site and is located opposite the LTGDC’s planned Cultural Industries Quarter.

The masterplan is driven by the desire to build a community around a range of usable green spaces. A 0.3ha (0.75 acre) park lies at the heart of the scheme and a new Northern Square will become the focus of new retail and leisure space. Key elements of the design include clear and common language of the buildings across the site; stronger pedestrian links into and through the site, including amendments to the existing A406 bridge link which is now proposed to enter directly into the public square; and active ground floors with retail uses.

Buildings of differing scale and character are grouped around courtyards and placed along the river edge to create separate ‘character zones’ within the site. Strong and simple architectural forms appropriate to the location are proposed to give the development critical mass and a distinct identity as a new neighbourhood in Barking. A 22-storey building is proposed for the northern edge of the site to provide a visual connection with the nearby town centre and a new local landmark.

The designs set out enhancements to the River Roding corridor including new riverside terracing and a new river wall. A new bus route is to be created through the site and riverside access is to be opened up for public uses and activities.

The joint applicants have proposed a series of innovative Section 106 proposals, including allowing for potentially enhanced levels of affordable housing (minimum of 10 per cent) and additional financial contributions to be made depending on the financial viability of each phase of development. These proposals directly allow the local community to benefit from improvements in market conditions.

Tony Travers, Subsidiary Managing Director at Countryside Properties, said: “We are delighted to have been granted outline planning permission, following positive endorsements of our plans from both CABE and local stakeholders. Our architectural team has designed concepts for high quality buildings and impressive public spaces. This project will transform the area and will contribute to the continuing regeneration of Barking town centre.”

The development team is working with Aedas Landscape and Environment (landscape design) Aedas Access Consultancy (access consultant), Gerald Eve (planning and affordable housing consultant), Savill Bird and Axon (highways consultant), Environ UK (environmental impact, acoustics and sustainability), Mott Macdonald Fulcrum (services engineering) and Ramboll UK (civil and structural engineering).

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