Further development at the 10,800-home Barking Riverside project, one of the biggest schemes planned for the Thames Gateway, is effectively on hold.
The consultant leading the £3.15bn development for the last five years, Clive Wilding, has had his commission ended by the JV between housebuilder Bellway and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), who are developing the scheme.
Our plan was to see individual plots brought out to market, but it hasn’t happened
Clive Wilding, Raven Group
While Bellway and the HCA are on site constructing the 350-home initial phase of the project, Building understands that any prospect of building the remainder is “off the agenda”.
Wilding, who is now setting up a residential development fund for Russian-owned developer Raven Group, said: “It appears to be stalled. It was always our plan to see [individual developer plots] brought out to market, but it hasn’t happened.”
Wilding declined to comment on the reasons behind the stalling of later phases of the scheme.
The scheme has also been hit by the closure of the government’s Building Schools for the Future programme. There is now no funding for a planned £10m secondary school on the site, which is a planning condition for more than 1,500 homes to be built.
Jon Watson, chief executive of Bellway said the firm was waiting to test market reaction to the first phase of homes, which have not been sold, before considering further phases. He said: “It’s a brave thing currently to have pushed the button on the first 350 homes. Lets do those. What happens in five years is another question. It’s not the case it’s dead after 350 homes.”
Former London mayor Ken Livingstone said he would restart the scheme if elected and criticised the current mayor Boris Johnson’s lack of commitment to the scheme.