Barking Riverside – the largest residential-led development in the Thames Gateway – has been given the go ahead.

At 10,800 homes, the joint venture by housebuilder Bellway and English Partnerships is one of the largest residential planning applications in Europe.

The London Borough of Barking & Dagenham planning committee last night gave outline consent to the scheme.

Barking Riverside will be home to 26,000 people once it is built out. The project also includes opening up 2km of frontage to the River Thames on the east London site, which is largely poor quality industrial land.

The application will now go to Mayor Ken Livingstone for ‘secondary approval’, after which Bellway and EP will hold an architectural competition for the first two phases, totalling 4,000 homes. Some 40% of the homes will be affordable.

Bellway and EP are hoping to put the infrastructure in next year and start delivering the first homes in 2008.