Building new homes for Marks Gate

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An artist's impression of the new development alongside Padnall Lake

We have now submitted a planning application for new homes on the land alongside the A12 at Marks Gate.

Our vision is for a new part of Marks Gate where people and nature come together. The aim is to create an area of modern homes as well as biodiversity and play, for walks, sports and cycling, in a much-improved environment.

The key features are:

  • more than 250 high quality, affordable council-owned homes
  • energy efficient with a sustainable power source
  • alongside the southern edge of the site to maximise green space and create a sound buffer
  • improved landscaping and biodiversity – with a new linear park and children’s play areas
  • better connection to Chadwell Heath with an improved, safer entrance to the underpass
  • built using modern construction methods to reduce disturbance and improve sustainability

The plans have been developed following initial consultation with local residents.

We submitted a planning application to the Council at the end of August. You can see it on the Council's website. The application number is 20/01686/FULL , and you can type in the postcode which is RM6 5ER.

Find out more!

  • Watch our new video which introduces the application we have made
  • Take a look in more detail – you can download the plans
  • Find out more - read our commonly asked questions or ask questions of your own
  • Register to receive our newsletters. Sign up to keep up-to-date with what’s happening when, at the top right corner of this page

We have now submitted a planning application for new homes on the land alongside the A12 at Marks Gate.

Our vision is for a new part of Marks Gate where people and nature come together. The aim is to create an area of modern homes as well as biodiversity and play, for walks, sports and cycling, in a much-improved environment.

The key features are:

  • more than 250 high quality, affordable council-owned homes
  • energy efficient with a sustainable power source
  • alongside the southern edge of the site to maximise green space and create a sound buffer
  • improved landscaping and biodiversity – with a new linear park and children’s play areas
  • better connection to Chadwell Heath with an improved, safer entrance to the underpass
  • built using modern construction methods to reduce disturbance and improve sustainability

The plans have been developed following initial consultation with local residents.

We submitted a planning application to the Council at the end of August. You can see it on the Council's website. The application number is 20/01686/FULL , and you can type in the postcode which is RM6 5ER.

Find out more!

  • Watch our new video which introduces the application we have made
  • Take a look in more detail – you can download the plans
  • Find out more - read our commonly asked questions or ask questions of your own
  • Register to receive our newsletters. Sign up to keep up-to-date with what’s happening when, at the top right corner of this page
  • Mayor gives green light to new homes

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    Mayor gives green light to new homes

    The Mayor of London has now given the green light to our plans to build new homes alongside Padnall Lake.

    This means that we have cleared the final hurdle in our bid to build much-needed affordable housing for the local community. We will now appoint a contractor so that the first phase of building work can start, which we hope will be towards the summer.

    Our aim is to build the homes as fast as possible with the minimum inconvenience to local residents.

    We plan to build the housing in phases, and we will use modern construction methods. Many parts of the new ‘modular’ homes will be built off-site in factories and assembled and finished on site. This can be up to 40 per cent faster than building using conventional methods. It also reduces disturbance and is much more environment friendly.

    The first phase of 81 homes will be built at the western end of the site, nearest the Lake. You can see a detailed map on our website and our planned timetable is below.

    From now We will appoint a building contractor.

    Spring 2021 Ground preparation works could start for the first phase

    Autumn 2021 The first modular elements could be delivered to site and assembled

    Late 2021 We will submit what is known as a 'reserved matters planning application' for the second phase of new homes

    Early 2023 The first phase could be completed and tenants could move in

    By 2024 The second phase tenants could move in

  • Ask the archaeologist!

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    Be First is calling on local residents who want to know more about the archaeological excavations in progress at Marks Gate, to pose their questions in a special online interview with the archaeologists.

    The council’s regeneration organisation has been carrying out a number of surveys and archaeological excavations since November when the council granted planning permission for new affordable homes on the land adjacent to the A12. The digging got underway while the plans are being considered by the Mayor of London.

    The aim is to help progress the design of the new homes and ensure that any archaeological remains are salvaged.

    The only find so far is a small fragment of what might be Saxon pottery on the site (pictured above). This is being examined by a pottery specialist and the archaeologists hope to have a better idea of how old it is and how it was used in the past. The initial view is that it might have been part of a cup or bowl.

    However, there have been no other significant finds so far and the archaeologists have said they want to do more investigations in the week commencing 18 January. They will dig four more deep pits to look for anything of interest.

    The Be First team will be interviewing the archaeologists in a short You Tube video next week and are calling on local residents to ask the questions.

    If you have a question you would like to pose to them, please send your questions to communications@befirst.london

    The interview will be available from 25 January at https://yourcall.befirst.london/marks-gate

  • Progress report

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    Progress report

    Our contractor, Murphy, wrote to residents in December to explain that there would be a number of surveys carried out during December 2020 and January 2021. The latest update is below.

    • The project is on schedule in spite of very poor weather conditions, and we have completed most of the excavation works.
    • We will be digging four more archaeological trenches from 18 January 2021 onwards. They will take approximately seven working days to complete, weather permitting.
    • We have tried to minimise the amount of green space we have had to dig up as much as possible and we intend to reopen the fenced-off areas as soon as the survey and site investigation work is completed.
    • The wet weather has meant that it has been more difficult to reopen these areas than we expected because the surfaces are waterlogged and very muddy. This has meant that we have experienced more damage to the grass areas than we hoped. We sincerely apologise for this. Please rest assured that we intend to relay the grass as soon as we have a dry spell.
    • We have experienced some vandalism of the site and fly-tipping locally. We have cleared this up, but if you do see any further anti-social behaviour please do report it immediately. You can call anonymously on 020 8724 8898, emailgrimecrime@lbbd.gov.uk or speak to or speak to our on-site contractor, Murphy. They will do everything they can to minimise disruption to you and to keep noise and mess on site to an absolute minimum. If you have any concerns, please contact Paul Hart, Murphy Contracts Manager, phone 020 7267 4366 or email paulhart@murphygroup.co.uk
  • Site surveys get underway

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    Our contractor, Murphy, will be carrying out a number of site surveys in the Padnall Lake area over the next few weeks.

    The council granted planning permission for new affordable homes to be built alongside Padnall Lake on Monday 30 November. While the Mayor of London considers the application further, we have invited Murphy to survey the lake, carry out an archaeological survey and do ground investigations which will involve them having to dig several trenches.

    If the Mayor agrees the application, our technical teams will need this information to progress the designs and they are critical to ensure we protect and salvage any archaeological remains that may be present on site.

    The surveys will start from Monday 7 December and are due to be completed in January 2021. We apologise if the work causes any inconvenience but please be assured Murphy will manage these works closely to ensure disruption is kept to an absolute minimum.

    Further information here.

  • New homes and better green spaces will be massive boost for Marks Gate

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    The council approved plans from Be First to build affordable new homes at Marks Gate on 30 November.

    The members of the planning committee voted to support the application for permission to build the first phase of 81 high quality, affordable homes for the council, and approved the construction of up to 219 more in principle.

    They also agreed to a number of conditions which would see added benefits coming to the community including a contribution towards improving local bus services and a commitment that a minimum of 25 per cent of labour and suppliers required for the construction are from within the borough to maximise opportunities for local residents and businesses.

    Councillor Cameron Geddes, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Social Housing, said: “This is great news for the thousands of people on the council’s housing list. It will provide desperately needed homes for local people at rents they can afford.

    “In addition to the new homes the development will provide a brand new park, orchards and improved access to a lake which will provide a green open space residents can enjoy.”

    The other main features of the plan are:

    • 100 per cent of the new homes will be affordable homes with rents starting at £159 a week
    • top environmental standards – with solar panels and lots of insulation to keep fuel bills low, and
    • use of modern construction methods to speed up the building process and minimise inconvenience to existing residents.
    • creation of an attractive linear park with a range of uses – from adventure play areas to orchards
    • upgrade the lake and the area around the lake to increase biodiversity and to make it more accessible for everyone, especially elderly and disabled people.

    The plans will now be submitted to the Mayor of London, and his team will scrutinise the application and give a final decision early next year.

    Further details here.


  • Planning update

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    It appears that due to ongoing upgrade works to our database software since Monday 21st September it appears that the link for customers to make representations on the Padnall Lake planning application is not available to all customers. The Planning Team very much welcome all views and representations from neighbours and apologise for this issue which is being urgently looked into. The system in all other respects is functioning fully and all documents on the application file are available for public viewing through the website.


    To ensure we are able to receive your comments, we have extended the public consultation period on this application by 14 days until the 11th October 2020 and would be happy to receive comments by email to planning@befirst.london.


  • Thank You!

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    We have now submitted our planning application for the new homes for Marks Gate. And, we would like to thank residents for the hundreds of contributions they have made as a community during our consultation and engagement process.

    We have now published final details of our plans on our website, together with an explanatory video.

    Our application includes a summary of all the feedback we have received from you so far.

    We expect the application to be considered by the November 2020 planning committee.

    Between now and then the Council will consult residents formally - asking for views and suggestions.

    You can see the full planning application on the Council’s website www.lbbd.gov.uk

    The planning application number is: 20/01686/FULL and the postcode is RM6 5ER

    The main points of our application

    • We plan to build 257 top quality new homes for the Council.
    • The Council will let them to local people on the housing list (this list includes 163 families from Marks Gate)
    • Rents would start at £159 a week and more than a third are at rents equivalent to current council rents
    • The new homes will be among our greenest - with solar panels and high insulation standards to reduce fuel bills
    • The new homes will take up less than 20 per cent of the siteWe'll upgrade the remaining green space to create a linear park with a range of uses - from adventure play areas to orchards
    • We'll upgrade the lake to increase biodiversity and accessibility
    • There will be 124 parking spaces for residents including blue badge provision, plus car club spaces
    • We'll use modern construction methods to speed up the building process and minimise inconvenience to existing residents

    Full details at www.yourcall.befirst.london/marks-gate

    No internet or need a translation?

    If you or any of your neighbours need any of our consultation materials translated, or can't access our website, please email their name and address to communities@befirst.london or call 020 3372 0707 and we will send information by post.


  • Stay at home - but see our plans online

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    The coronavirus means we all have to stay indoors, to protect each other and to protect the NHS. It also underlines just how important it is to have a comfortable home of your own.

    So, we're pressing ahead with our plans to build much-needed new housing for Marks Gate. And, we would like you to stay at home but to give us your views on our latest plans online.

    We've posted our latest plans on our website and we talk through them in a short video.

    We urge you to take a look and give us your comments, suggestions and ideas. You can either post these online or send them by post, free-of-charge. Just address your envelope Freepost BE FIRST (please use the capital letters).

  • Resident focus group workshops (17 March) cancelled

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    In the interest of the health and well-being of our local community and employees, we have made the decision to cancel the Residents Focus Group Workshops scheduled for 17 March 2020.

    We will rearrange these workshops as soon as we feel it appropriate to do so. We thank you for your understanding in this matter.

    To be kept informed, please enter your email address under the Stay Informed button at the top of this website, or email us at communities@befirst.london or call 020 3372 0707.

  • Thanks for your views

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    Thank you to everyone who attended our drop-in consultation held at Marks Gate Community Centre on Tuesday 25th February 2020.

    We are considering your feedback and plan to present a more detailed design at our second public consultation event on Tuesday 21st April 2020. (Update 14 April. We are hoping to reschedule this event, online. Please watch this space for details).

    There's still time to find out more and submit your feedback. A copy of the information we presented at the drop-in event is available in the 'Document Library' tab of this website and the survey is available in the 'Give Us Your Views'' tab.