A public consultation has begun on plans to build a rail link to Barking Riverside, east London’s largest housing development site.

The proposed 4km extension would see the Overground Gospel Oak to Barking line extended to serve a new station at the heart of the development.

Transport for London (TfL) said the line could help bring “up to nearly” 11,000 new homes being built, many of which are affordable, along with a new school and healthcare facilities, and a community centre.

The consultation will focus on the details of the extension’s proposed route, including the amount of land required to build the extension and whereabouts it would be built.

It will be the last consultation before Transport for London (TfL) seeks permission from the Secretary of State for Transport to start construction.

The Government has agreed to provide a loan of £55million to support the extension to Barking Riverside and the provision of this loan means that funding is available to cover the full cost.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, said: “Barking Riverside is the largest housing development in east London, but without extending London Overground services it cannot reach its full potential.

"Our proposals for extending the railway line to this part of the capital enjoy huge public support and will help to breathe life into a fantastic new community for London.”

TfL managing director of planning Richard de Cani said: “This consultation is the last phase before we approach Government for permission to build this extension of London Overground services.

"This important new piece of London’s transport network will help unlock the potential for almost 11,000 new homes to be delivered on the Barking Riverside site.”