The delays in opening a new railway station in east London have pushed Havering Council to buy out a housing partner in order to secure the long-term future for the neighbouring housing developments.

The site, Beam Park is the former Ford manufacturing plant in Dagenham, now owned by the GLA, and in 2019 received consents for a 3,000 home development, with around half classed as “affordable”. As part of the agreement, a new railway station was to be built next to the site on the existing C2C railway line, roughly halfway between Dagenham Dock and Rainham, to support both this development and future planned housing developments to the east of the station.

Beam Park site plan

In order to push ahead with building the houses, Havering Council set up a 50:50 joint venture with Notting Hill Genesis (NHG) to lead the development.

That housing site, along with a private developer working on neighbouring sites would deliver around 20,000 new homes, and would have relied on a new railway station being built at Beam Park.

However, in late 2021, the Department for Transport refused to authorise the opening of the station, citing concerns about ongoing running costs. The GLA and council have offered to cover any losses for a decade while the housing is being built, but negotiations over how to settle the gap between what the GLA is offering and what the DfT wants are still ongoing.

Beam Park station concept image

At a council meeting last week, Havering Council published a report saying that the uncertainty about the railway station is affecting the viability of the new housing developments — and progress in building the homes is currently on hold.

The council looked at a number of options to push on with the housing, and in the end, opted to buy out Notting Hill Genesis from the venture so that it could proceed alone. Under the new arrangement, the Council will be in full control of the joint venture and will ask the Cabinet to consider a further report in the coming months regarding options for future funding and delivery arrangements.

Councillor Graham Williamson, Cabinet Lead for Development and Regeneration, said: “We welcome this decision which will help us to realise the Council’s long-held objective to regenerate the Rainham and Beam Park Housing Zone.

“We are working relentlessly to help the government realise the role that Beam Park station has in helping to unlock the full potential of the region.

“We will also continue to work with all businesses and residents impacted to help minimise disruption, inconvenience and produce satisfactory outcomes for everyone as we deliver these new homes for local people.”

The housing will be built, although a timeline is now uncertain and residents will likely need to catch a bus to Dagenham Dock railway station instead of the nearby Beam Park station, unless the impasse over opening it can be resolved.

It does seem strange that a station that would have some newly built 20,000 homes within walking distance would be thought to be uneconomic when the likely passenger numbers would be far higher than many other existing stations which are kept open. However, if the railway station doesn’t open, then the current planning approvals also restrict how many houses can be built on the sites around the planned station, hampering the provision of housing in east London.

The government has today committed to building more homes in England, and as authorising the station would enable the housing development to go ahead — from the current limit of around 6,000 homes to the potential 20,000 homes, opening the station would be an easy win for the housing target.


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  1. Obi says:

    Will this station only be serving c2c? I’m not too familiar with transport links in that area, but the proposal does seem sound.

  2. Gerry Mansfield says:

    Has Havering Council considered the effect the impact of this project will have on local residents.

    • ianVisits says:

      Do you think anyone can build thousands of homes without going through a lot of consultations and impact assessments?

  3. Rich D says:

    I think those holding the purse strings are forgetting that there are a lot of existing residents (outside of these new builds) that would be closer to the new proposed station than Dagenham Dock or Rainham. If anything it might make either of those stations unviable.

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