PRS homes

Willmott Dixon’s private rental company be:here has signed a deal with Estates & Agency Group to develop 650 units in Barking, east London.

In order to develop and manage the purpose-built private rented homes, be:here will acquire 3.88 acres of the nine-acre Abbey Retail Park site from Estates & Agency Group.

Iceni Projects will act as the lead consultant on the new project, supported by Broadway Malyan, architects and i2 as development managers.

In 2014, Estates & Agency Group secured planning approval to build a new Sainsbury’s store on the site, with demolition works set to start in May.

be:here’s deal follows the first of its 158 purpose-built homes in East India, which will be available for private renters at the Aberfeldy Village development.

According to Willmott Dixon, construction of be:here’s 132-home development at the Old Vinyl Factory in Hayes is underway, with plans for completion early next year.

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At Kew Bridge, the company has more than 330 units at the Brentford FC stadium masterplan.

"Over the next few years there will be transformational change in this area of Barking, creating hundreds of new homes and jobs."

Willmott Dixon development division chief executive Andrew Telfer said: "Barking is a key milestone in be:here’s plans to create vibrant rental communities at scale across London and other major cities.

"What’s unique for us is that we will be the long-term operator of the apartments first and foremost, so our presence over many years means we have a keen interest in the success and growth of the wider community in central Barking."

Estates & Agency Group chairman John Rosefield said: "The agreement with be:here is the next stage of realising the vision for the site’s regeneration.

"Over the next few years there will be transformational change in this area of Barking, creating hundreds of new homes and jobs."

Works on the site are expected to commence early in 2016 and the first homes will be available to rent in 2018.

Image: be:here will acquire 3.88 acres of Abbey Retail Park site. Photo: courtesy of Willmott Dixon.