Almost 600 new jobs as plan to build industrial units in Chadwell Heath approved

An old dairy farm in Chadwell Heath could be turned into a film studio after the council approved plans to build three huge industrial buildings on the site, creating up to 599 new jobs.

The applicant, Bridge UK Properties 6, LP plans to build three large industrial buildings where the Dairy Crest once stood. It aims to create 370 to 599 operational on-site jobs in what has been dubbed a “key site for redevelopment”.

Presenting the planning proposal to Barking and Dagenham Council’s planning committee on Monday (December 19), case officer, Alex Tayler said: “There are a range of potential uses for the site, light industry, warehousing and it could also be used to support the emerging creative and film industries in the borough.

“For an industrial scheme, an industrial area, we’ve got some really high-quality design and architecture.”

The Dairy Crest began producing milk during the 1980s and was subsequently sold to Müller Milk & Ingredients in 2015.

However, in 2017 Müller Milk & Ingredients announced it would be closing its Chadwell Heath dairy as it was “no longer economically viable”.

A total of 389 people lost their jobs due to the “unavoidable” decision, which then-managing director Andrew McInnes said: “In an environment where there is simply too much fresh milk processing capacity, we simply cannot justify the level of investment required for the complete overhaul and modernisation required at the site.”

The site was almost entirely demolished back in 2019, with only a few buildings still standing for temporary uses including a car dealership, according to a Barking and Dagenham Council document.

Mr Tayler added that “at least” 25 per cent of the new jobs up for grabs would go to local people in the borough, while £120,000 will go towards investing in affordable workspaces off-site that will benefit other schemes in Barking and Dagenham.

An additional £30,000 will be spent on walking and cycling improvements under a study that will investigate a range of measures in the Chadwell Heath masterplan area, as well as £400,000 towards local junction and highway improvements.

The council’s planning committee granted approval for the planning application.

Ruby Gregory

Local Democracy Reporter