Expert planning knowledge is key to early delivery of new homes for town centre regeneration
Expert planning knowledge is key to early delivery of new homes for town centre regeneration

Press Release: 22:03:18

Terence O’Rourke’s Technical Director Nigel Pugsley explains how his team’s experience of project co-ordination and complex planning strategy won consent for client Countryside Properties Partnerships South (East London).


In February 2018, the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham’s Planning Committee granted reserved matters approval for the first phase of Countryside’s regeneration scheme at Fresh Wharf in East London. The approved scheme comprised 531 new homes, commercial space, new public realm and improvements to the river wall adjoining the River Roding.


The Fresh Wharf Estate is a former industrial area on the banks of the River Roding in East London and is identified as a key town centre regeneration site by the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham. TOR originally secured revised outline approval for the redevelopment of the site back in 2015. 


Countryside secured outline planning permission for the residential led mixed use redevelopment of the former industrial site in 2011, but the delivery of the scheme stalled due to the challenging economic context and did not represent a viable proposition for development without significant revisions. TOR assisted Countryside by securing a planning approval in 2014 for a wide range of amendments to the outline planning permission to make the scheme more efficient, viable and deliverable.


Leading up to the latest consent, TOR were responsible for coordinating the consultant team and advising on planning strategy. The team led on negotiations with the local planning authority, managed the stakeholder engagement strategy and coordinated the discharge and variation of onerous planning conditions to enable the early delivery of new homes.


Reserved Matter applications are rarely straight forward. It was therefore necessary to agree with officers a third deed of variation to the S106 agreement and amendments to a number of planning conditions. Local planning policy context had evolved since the grant of the original outline planning permission, meaning that those items not fixed by the OPP (i.e. cycle parking, internal space standards, etc) had to be engineered into a scheme already restricted by strict height and layout parameters. However, the scheme was navigated through these issues and the project has now received strong support from the Development Control Board and local councillors.


Demolition has now commenced, marking the start of the first phase of development, which will see 531 homes delivered at this new riverside destination. Following the completion of extensive infrastructure works, construction of the new homes is scheduled for October 2018, with the completion of the first homes expected in autumn 2020. The £346m development, set across 10 acres of brownfield industrial land is due to complete by 2026.


Consent for the scheme has received high praise from both the Council and client.


Robert Wilkinson, Managing Director for East London at Countryside Partnerships South said: “Receiving planning approval and starting the demolition at Fresh Wharf marks an important step towards the delivery of a significant new development in East London, creating a new destination at the entrance to Barking Town Centre.


Identified as one of the largest residential sites within the Barking Town Centre Area Action Plan, Fresh Wharf plays a crucial part in boosting the local neighbourhood, utilising a brownfield site to provide much-needed new housing and community-focused public areas in an enviable riverside setting.”


Councillor Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, said: “I look forward to seeing Fresh Wharf help to make Barking and Dagenham a magnet for aspirational working Londoners looking for a new home.


The development will also build on our ambition to create vibrant waterside communities, with affordable homes, leisure facilities and bars - a kind of Roding Riviera for ordinary Londoners.”