Foundations laid for new council housing in the borough

Cllr Smith said: “The scheme has other less tangible benefits too, including three local people employed as trainees on the construction, two local companies working as sub-contractors with more jobs for local people, and local apprenticeships and training opportunities being provided by the main contractor Durkans.

FOR the first time in many years new Thurrock Council homes are being built in the borough.

Cllr Andy Smith, the council’s housing portfolio holder was at the Oxwich Close development on Wednesday (21 December) morning to officially lay the foundation stone.

The site, in Corringham, used to be garages which were poorly used and attracted vandals and arsonists.

The scheme will provide 16 flats — one- and two-bedroom — for rent, owned and managed by the council. All of the homes are specially designed to be energy efficient, Secure by Design, and meet the government’s Quality Design Standard as well as several of the Build for Life criteria.

Cllr Smith said: “It is imperative that local authorities do all they can to help people into affordable accommodation, especially in these difficult times.

“There is increasing pressure on the council’s housing list and this is one small, but important step on the road to easing that pressure.”

He added: “These homes will not only be affordable rent-wise, but because of the way they have been designed, the tenants living here will benefit from cheaper energy bills too.

“Not only do they reach Sustainable Code Level 4 which will reduce energy and fuel costs, they will have photo-voltaic panels on the roof to supplement the residents’ energy needs by solar power, low ‘u-value’ windows to reduce heat loss, and low-flow taps and showers as well as dual flush toilets to conserve water.”

Cllr Smith said: “The scheme has other less tangible benefits too, including three local people employed as trainees on the construction, two local companies working as sub-contractors with more jobs for local people, and local apprenticeships and training opportunities being provided by the main contractor Durkans.

”This is just the start. My ambition is for us to provide significantly more affordable social housing in Thurrock as the pressures, financial and social, continue to grow.”

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