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Development update: new homes in Stafford and Barking

In our latest development round-up, we zone in on projects in Staffordshire and Barking.

A Worcestershire-based developer has won planning permission for 2,000 new homes in Staffordshire, which could provide up to 28% of Stafford borough’s 2031 housing target.

The plans from Maximus, approved by Stafford Borough Council on Monday, will lead to 2,000 homes being built on 430 acres to the north of Stafford.


As well as homes, the proposals include two brand new schools, a health centre, two local centres and a 60-bed care home at the heart of a new rural village. A five-form secondary school will be complemented by a two-form primary school in the village.

There are also plans for a destination park for local residents, with cycling and pedestrian paths, which were mapped out in the proposals.

The land is part of the ‘Northern Urban Extension’ to Stafford and sits just off Junction 14 of the M6 motorway.

The Housing Plan for Stafford Borough, first adopted in 2014, highlights the need for 7,200 new homes within the borough by 2031.

“We are delighted and relieved that Stafford Borough Council’s planning committee recognised the merits of our scheme,” Jon Hickton, Maximus managing director, said.

“We have been consulting with interested parties and key stakeholders since 2013 to ensure that our proposals were delivered in a comprehensive and sustainable manner. What we are envisaging here is the creation of a new community with supporting health centres, schools and shops, as well as green space for recreation and leisure.”

He added: “This development of 2,000 homes will go a long way to meeting Stafford Borough’s target of 7,200 homes by 2031.

Maximus is a privately-owned property development and investment group launched in 2001. Its key focus is on strategic land, sourcing land opportunities, and working with landowners to facilitate the entire planning and sales process.

Demolition starts on 200-home scheme in Barking

Demolition is now underway on the west side of the Gascoigne Estate, making way for the delivery of more than 200 new homes in Barking over the next two years.

Cllr Darren Rodwell, Barking and Dagenham Council leader, and Pat Hayes, managing director of pioneering regeneration company Be First, joined together with Wates Residential Operations Director, Adrian Fennessy, and construction site representatives last Friday to view progress at the site on Abbey Road and celebrate a significant step forward for the project.

The £55 million scheme will see part of the 1960s estate redeveloped into a modern, environmentally-friendly community, playing host to 201 new homes, of which 60% will be affordable, with rents starting from £137 per week.

The plans include 89 one-bedroom, 88 two-bedroom and 24 three-bedroom homes, plus there will be a new children’s play area built to provide open space for local people to enjoy.

At a time of heightened awareness of ecological issues and the dangers posed by climate change, the project is being built with the environment in mind, with the designs including plans to install electric car charging points and more than 360 new bicycle parking spaces.

Additionally, the new homes will contribute to a 40% reduction in carbon emissions thanks to a connection to the forthcoming Barking Town Centre District Heating Network and the installation of solar panels. Building work is expected to be completed in spring 2022.

“It’s a great start to the New Year – we’re now making visible headway in rebuilding a better, greener Gascoigne estate,” Cllr Darren Rodwell said. “It illustrates our determination to build top quality, affordable homes for local people not just in this part of Barking but across the entire borough.”

Pat Hayes added:We’re starting 2020 with a resolution to dramatically increase the rate at which we build new affordable homes for local people, and the redevelopment of this part of the Gascoigne estate is just one of 15 projects we expect to get off the ground this year.”

Paul Nicholls, managing director for Wates Residential, also commented: “We’re delighted to have begun the first stage of demolition on this exciting flagship project, delivering more than 200 homes for people in Barking.”

“Together with our partners, we will deliver new high-quality homes and create a lasting legacy for the whole community through our investment in education, skills and training because we believe that everyone deserves a great place to live.”

The Gascoigne Estate West project is being delivered by national developer Wates Residential after it won a place on the pioneering Be First Development Framework last year.

As part of the project, Wates Residential insists it will increase investment in education, training and skills opportunities, ‘delivering a borough-wide legacy’.

This includes commitments to recruit a minimum of 20% of the local workforce, as well as addressing the skills shortage with a wider education programme that will operate through local schools.

Furthermore, Wates Residential says it will promote job vacancies to those who currently face barriers to employment, provide work experience placements and careers advice sessions, and offer a number of apprenticeships in key traditional areas including bricklaying, and carpentry, as well as in business administration.

Be First, meanwhile, was set up to drive growth and accelerate regeneration in the borough of Barking and Dagenham, ‘so that no-one is left behind’.  

Through its expert team of planners, developers and project managers, it aims to provide 50,000 high-quality new homes and 20,000 new jobs in the borough within the next 20 years, using the 400 hectares of development land available to achieve this.


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