Thurrock Council leads the way on new homes

THURROCK’S new housing portfolio holder, Cllr Lynn Worrall, says she is looking forward to helping create 1,000 new homes in the borough.

Speaking at Wednesday (2 July) evening’s meeting of the cabinet, she explained how the council is already finalising plans for over 500 homes, which “should see this council leading our partners to encourage a new high standard of quality across all housing developments”.

She said: “The report says how we will bid to the Homes and Communities Agency to move forward cabinet’s agreement in February to go ahead on five schemes providing around 100 homes.

“HCA grant funding has been secured to support three of these – Bracelet Close, Derry Avenue and the Empty Homes Initiative. The HCA has now launched a further funding round and we’re asking to put forward a bid which includes Seabrooke Rise, a scheme that’s already underway, and four others – another scheme for older people at Calcutta Road in Tilbury; two schemes in Chadwell St Mary; and a demonstration site for custom or self-build homes on one of our housing department surplus garage sites.

“In all we’re bidding for 140 homes requiring just under £4.6 million in grant. If successful this will bring the total funding support from HCA to around £6 million for a total of 187 homes.”

Cllr Worrall said: “The council’s proposed Housing Revenue Account (HRA) borrowing bid focuses on the Grays and Purfleet Thames-side towns proposals included in the South East Local Enterprise Partnership’s Strategic Economic Plan.

“These proposed schemes involve other partners and include the development of supported housing for young single people and for four further schemes for a mix of affordable rent and shared ownership homes in a mix of smaller size units.

“In total this would mean a further 193 homes are proposed – with a bid for an increase in the HRA borrowing cap of nearly £18 million.”

She concluded: “If cabinet agrees the recommendations, the council will be able to increase the number of affordable homes it is providing to around 400 and, together with the 130 homes proposed for development by Gloriana at the St Chad’s site in Tilbury, will be more than half way to meeting its 1,000 homes target.

“I’m really looking forward to the coming months as we drive Thurrock’s home-building forward – we can’t do it all, but we can lead the way.”

Members agreed the recommendations unanimously.

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