Thames Road Transformation Area Masterplan, 2020

masterplan adjacent to the River Thames

River Road Employment Area is an area of industrial land designated as a ‘Strategic Industrial Location’ (‘SIL’) in southwest Barking, on the north bank of the Thames. The area is currently characterised by low-density sheds, poor quality public realm and limited transport connections. Haworth Tompkins were appointed by BeFirst in 2019 to help define a new masterplan vision for the area: providing a framework for its transformation over the next 30 years. Key objectives were to create a vibrant, cohesive and sustainable mixed-use district, incorporating a mix of industrial, residential and community uses. We hope to achieve this by providing better connectivity between residential communities to the north and south of Thames Road and to Barking Town Centre, delivering improved public realm and landscape, and supporting green transport infrastructure, while retaining, intensifying and improving the 750,000sqm+ of industrial floorspace within the SIL area.

To develop the overall land zoning strategy which underpins the masterplan vision, while delivering the industrial space requirements for SIL land within the London Plan, we carried out quantitative floorspace modelling to assess different land zoning and intensification scenarios. The result is new masterplan zoning which seeks to intensify industrial uses within the centre of the site (shown in yellow) in order to release land for colocation and residential uses in the eastern part of the site, creating three distinct character areas along the length of Thames Road. The east end of the road is rezoned for residential and community uses, the centre is designated as a transitional colocation zone with a mixture of residential, community and cleaner industrial uses, and the west end houses intensified, multistorey industrial space.

The intensification strategy for the area is proposed as a flexible, phased framework with an increasing amount of industrial floorspace being delivered incrementally as sites come forwards, across a 20-30 year period. Intensification is achieved through the development of plots in the centre of the site as modern, multistorey, industrial buildings with plot development ratios of 100-200%.

The first of these will be Industria Barking, our innovative, multistorey, ramped building located on Creek Road, which has been developed for BeFirst as a catalyst development for the district. It is on site currently and when completed in 2023 will provide 11,000sqm of flexible, modern industrial floorspace and represent a new typology for UK industrial buildings.

“HT have been instrumental in making Industria happen, from early research and concept, to the tenacity and attention to detail to see the project through to construction. We are genuinely excited about how the project is going to transform and lead industrial regeneration for the borough.” Lily Kwong, Development Manager, Be First


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