Urban design
Program: 51.6ha; planning of 1836 single family houses and apartments, district centre with two schools and a supermarket
Client: Barking Riverside LTD
Phase: completed, 2009

The Barking Riverside project, the largest housing project proposed within the redevelopment of the Thames Gateway, includes new schools, transport systems and community facilities. The first phase of development is being delivered through a joint venture between the public sector (Homes and Communities Agency) and the private sector (Bellway Homes). Barking and Dagenham are one of 14 local authorities piloting this unique procurement model, which was championed through the Housing Green Paper in July 2007. Both organisations will share the risks and benefits of the development process, which will see 1,200 new homes delivered in the first phase alone.

Maccreanor Lavington was appointed to develop the masterplan, following an outline application which was made in 2006 for the masterplan designed by Maxwan Architects and urbanists. Following a design collaboration between KCAP, Sheppard Robson Architects and Gustafson Porter landscape Architects, a reserved matters application was submitted at the beginning of January 2009.

Throughout the design process Maccreanor Lavington has worked closely with the Barking Riverside and the urban designers to ensure a continuous dialogue is maintained. The design development process involved a design review panel which included representatives from key stakeholders including London Thames Gateway Development Corporation, Design For London and the local authority.

One of the main aims of the project has been to create a community where people want to stay, providing houses that change with the inhabitants’ needs as well as ensuring that the development includes diversity of type, allowing growing families to move within it. Green infrastructure is one of the major design principles of the development and Maccreanor Lavington have ensured that biodiversity is protected by designing buildings that encourage vegetation and wildlife, including living roofs and elevations that house bat and bird boxes. This has allowed the project to be integrated into an ecologically rich landscape that is part of an internationally significant chain of semi-coastal, estuarine habitats that support a diverse group of animals, plants and insects.