Bellway Homes and English Partnerships aim to build four-storey blocks in Barking Riverside

Bellway Homes and English Partnerships are planning to develop four-storey house designs at Barking Riverside to provide high-density accommodation for families.

The Barking Riverside consortium has come up with a proposal to build “double decker” houses so that 30% of the 10,800 units planned for the site can be three or four-bedroom family homes without depriving the site of open space.

About 40% of the 180ha site is to be open space, some of it essential as a buffer zone between homes and the electricity pylons that run through the site.

The houses would be similar to conventional maisonettes, but would have decking to provide high-level gardens.

Roger Bond, a director of Barking Riverside, said: “There is a drive for family housing here, but it won’t all be traditional. These designs will allow us to get a lot of family housing on the site and the homes could be ideally suited for modern methods of construction.”

Homes are to be built at densities of up to 240 units per hectare, and about 40% of habitable rooms on the site will be affordable housing.

Barking Riverside is one of the biggest and most debated schemes in the pipeline for the Thames Gateway, and its planning application was lodged with the local authority more than a year ago.

Since then the consortium has been working with the council, the Greater London Authority and the DCLG to iron out strategic issues surrounding development and provide more detail on its proposals. As a result, the consortium has produced a design guide and an energy and sustainability strategy. The local authority is due to give its verdict on the planning application at the end of this month.

Steve Oakes, a director of Barking Riverside and a spokesperson for English Partnerships, said: “It’s the most advanced application to deliver family housing in the Thames Gateway.”

The masterplan, prepared by Dutch architect Maxwan, relies on the Docklands Light Railway being extended there by 2016, and the government has not yet made a decision on this.