Industrial wasteland around Ford Dagenham plant in east London to be transformed into world-class estate.
A team led by landscape architect Gillespies is to design a £470m masterplan to transform a 55 ha area around the Ford Dagenham car plant in east London into a “world class” industrial estate.

A team including Gillespies, civil engineer Maunsell and land agent Chesterton last week beat four other teams to win the commission.

Three of the other four teams, shortlisted after competitive interviews, included engineer Ove Arup & Partners with Richard Rogers Partnership and chartered surveyor Gerald Eve; planning consultant Llewelyn Davies with civil/environmental engineer Campbell Reith Hill and QS Gardiner & Theobald; and a team led by civil engineer the Babtie Group.

The masterplan for the area, known as Heart of Thames Gateway, will identify prime development sites and measures required to maximise their potential.

A spokesperson for Gillespies said: “The aim is to dramatically transform the area to make it more accessible, permeable and greener, and to tie it into the adjacent communities.”

The client for the project, the Heart of Thames Gateway Regeneration Partnership, is a public-private partnership between Ford, English Partnerships, the Thames Gateway London Partnership and the London boroughs of Havering, Barking and Dagenham.

The partnership has secured £22m in Single Regeneration Budget funding, £17m from English Partnerships and £7m from Ford for the regeneration project.

The aim is to dramatically transform the area to make it more accessible, permeable and greener

Spokesman, Gillespies

The scheme will reorganise the industrial activity linked to the Ford plant (such as Ford subsidiaries and suppliers), which are now housed in a haphazard way in low-grade architecture.

It will also restructure the area surrounding the plant, to encourage sustainable industrial and technological growth. In addition, the masterplan will enhance the general environment by identifying public open spaces. These will be improved with trees, landscaping, and public works of art.

The area will be crossed by the new A13, now under construction, which will link it with the M25. The Channel Tunnel Rail Link will also pass through, providing access to the international terminal at Stratford, east London. Ford has earmarked £300m for project work arising from the masterplan in the area surrounding its factory.

Potential Ford projects include a Centre of Excellence for Manufacturing and Engineering, incorporating a research centre for car engineering.

The Ford site will also include an integrated learning campus, where local people can acquire manufacturing and technical skills. This initiative is linked to the SRB strategy to create 3975 jobs.

Gillespies will complete a draft masterplan strategy by December, which will go out to public consultation in January. A final masterplan is scheduled to be completed in March. Consultants will be appointed to implement the masterplan in October 2000.