Dagenham’s famous old Ford Factory is set to be turned into a huge new village after plans were approved on Monday by the local council. The new development will see over 3,500 new homes built with shops, offices and even a new school. The scheme’s developers said they hoped the plans would build a thriving new neighbourhood in East London.
Barking and Dagenham Council’s planning committee voted unanimously in favour of the plans to build the new village at a meeting on March 14. Some 3,502 new homes will be built on the empty site of what was once Dagenham’s Ford Factory. The factory was demolished following its closure in 2013.
The factory built almost 11 million cars between opening in 1931 before it finally closed down – an event was held in October to mark the 90th anniversary of the factory’s first car being built. The number of East Londoners employed at the factory reached a peak of around 40,000 in 1953, and 1,000 lost their jobs when the plant closed in 2013.
Now, the huge 45-acre site is set to become home to thousands of homes and thousands of square metres of offices and shops. The planning meeting heard that 47 per cent of the homes will be affordable for local residents. The newly-approved plans also include a secondary school for new and existing residents, new streets, parking spaces and a large park. Most of the new homes will be in small flat blocks between one and 19 storeys tall.
READ MORE:New tower block near East Croydon station with 118 flats is almost finished
Chair of the meeting councillor John Dulwich welcomed the plans, saying they were “an opportunity to utilise a key area in Dagenham.” Barking and Dagenham Council has previously approved 1,500 new homes in the area as part of a wider regeneration project.
Developers Peabody said they hoped the scheme would do much to improve the East London borough. Peabody representative James McMarland told the meeting: “This goes beyond a brick and mortar development – this is about building a community for residents.”
The developers also told the meeting they had worked with residents to add what they wanted to the plans, especially parks and public spaces. They added the scheme would bring “substantial benefits for Dagenham.” Brendan Sarfield, the company’s chief executive said when the plans were unveiled: “Like me, many people from the local community will have lived and breathed working at Ford Dagenham through their own experience or through family and friends.
“Together we have a fantastic opportunity to bring the empty site back into use as part of the exciting new Dagenham Docks neighbourhood. Starting with people, we can help bring the place to life, linking in with residents from the Becontree estate and elsewhere to make it a great Peabody neighbourhood for the future.”
No objections against the plans were put forward to the council at the meeting on January 14. The Greater London Authority (GLA) will now also consider the plans. Barking and Dagenham council officer James Coulstock said they may ask for 50 per cent affordable housing in the scheme.