Local planners have given the green light for the wholesale redevelopment of the Vicarage Field Shopping Centre site in Barking town centre in east London.

A cluster of five high-rise buildings will stand around a central pedestrian area

Property investor Benson Elliot and development managers Londonewcastle are planning to clear the shopping mall site for a major mixed-use scheme of around 900 homes, a primary school, cinema, 300-capacity music venue and 150-room hotel.

Designed by architect Studio Egret West, the five-acre plot in the town centre will see five central buildings rising from 13 to 36 floors from two large footprint podium buildings containing the retail and leisure space.

Peter Cornforth, Director of Retail at Benson Elliot, said: “We welcome the council’s decision to grant outline planning permission for the redevelopment of the Vicarage Field Shopping Centre site in Barking town centre.

“This comprehensive redevelopment of the site will deliver new homes for the borough as well as a host of shopping, leisure and community facilities and up to 1,000 new jobs, all of which will significantly benefit the local area.”

Barking town council, which is currently recruiting board members to a new regeneration company called Be First, believes the new scheme will provide a huge boost to economic development in the borough, which is already planning 42,500 new homes and 10,000 new jobs over the next 20 years.

In approving the outline scheme,  councillors agreed to a range of safeguards on noise and construction methods to minimise disruption to local residents and to local businesses. 

They also specified that the detailed design would have to meet the Design Code to ensure that the development is of an exemplary quality to justify the location, heights and density.

In order to secure outline planning permission, the application now needs to be referred back to the Mayor of London for a final rubber stamping.