Affordable residential neighborhood arises, with transit, on an old 72-acre Ford factory

On the east side of London, England, a £1 billion project is transforming the site of an old Ford factory into a vast new expanse of transit-connected residential neighborhood, with 50% of the units being affordable housing. It’s a great example of the 3Re Strategy in action: repurpose, renew, reconnect.

Housing association L&Q Group (London & Quadrant) and private redeveloper Countryside have formally received planning consent for the 3,000-home Beam Park regeneration site in East London, following the signing of the Section 106 Agreement.

With 3,000 homes across 29 hectares (71.7 acres), Beam Park was the second largest housing project in the UK to gain planning approval in 2018.

Preparatory works on the site are now underway before construction can begin, which will transform the derelict site of a former Ford manufacturing plant into a new and vibrant destination.

The redevelopment is one of only three regeneration schemes in London delivering 3,000 homes and providing 50% affordable housing. At Beam Park, this equates to 1,513 affordable homes, creating a mixed community with significant infrastructure investment.

That Beam Park is affordable is undeniable, particularly since Help to Buy government assistance will be available, meaning a minimum deposit requirement of five per cent. “I think the flats will be in huge demand from first-time buyers,” said Robert Wilkinson, managing director of Countryside Properties (East London), which is building the project in association with L&Q. “People will be able to buy a studio flat with a deposit of around £11,000, which makes it much more accessible.

Construction will commence this spring and sales of the new homes are due to launch later this year, with the first homes ready in 2020. Phase one of the development, providing 640 new homes, is due to be completed by 2022.

When the masterplan is complete in 2030, Beam Park will provide a new railway station, framed by a high-quality public square, as well as a medical centre, which not only serves the new residents, but also up to 7,000 people in the surrounding area. In addition, two schools, retail spaces, a gym, nursery, community facilities, a multi-faith space, and two energy centres will also be delivered. The Beam Park station is located on the C2C line and will significantly enhance the area’s direct links into Central London.

44% of the development has been allocated for publicly-accessible green space, including a three-hectare central park in the heart of the development with the River Beam running through it.

The masterplan for Beam Park was produced by the award-winning architects, Patel Taylor.

Wilkinson enthused, “Together with our partners L&Q and the Mayor of London, we are delighted to have received the green light for our transformational plans at Beam Park, which celebrate the rich history of the renowned Ford factory plant and help regenerate this part of the capital. Our firm commitment to delivering 50% affordable housing will make a huge contribution to meeting local housing needs.

Having consulted with the local community from day one, we were encouraged by the vast responses and their co-operation of the local community, who were extremely supportive of our proposals. The Mayor of London’s commitment to providing new homes for Londoners has been unwavering and Beam Park is playing a key role in delivering not just affordable homes but also vital infrastructure, which will play a vital role in ensuring the new Beam Park community, proud of its local heritage, is sustainable and cohesive for generations to come,” he explained.

We are currently preparing the site to ensure our work on site delivers according to the prescribed schedule. With sales for the new homes launching this year, it is envisaged that the first homes will be completed towards the end of the year and the full development to be finished by 2030,” Wilkinson added.

Andy Rowland, Managing Director for East Region at L&Q, said, “We welcome this milestone, which brings our plans for Beam Park one step closer to reality.”

The redevelopment of this site, which will provide 50% affordable housing, will make a substantial contribution towards London’s housing needs. L&Q’s vision is that everyone has a quality home that they can afford. We look forward to working closely with our partners to create a successful new community with benefits for new and existing residents,” he concluded.

All images courtesy of L&Q Group.

See L&Q Group website.

See Countryside Properties website.

See related article by Ruth Bloomfield in Homes & Property.

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