A SCHEME to build 29 much-needed council homes in Grays has won a major prize at the inaugural Housing Essex Excellence Awards.
Thurrock Council’s five-storey residential development at the former Tops Social Club site in Argent Street, Grays, was named the winner of the ‘Housing Schemes under 50 homes’ category at a ceremony last Thursday (10 October) at County Hall, Chelmsford. The judging panel said they were particularly impressed with the project’s strong design and the opportunity to deliver affordable housing to residents on the borough’s housing register.
The development, which is expected to be completed in early 2020, will provide 15 two-bedroom flats, eight one-bedroom flats and six three-bedroom maisonettes, as well as parking spaces, a children’s playground and other facilities.
Cllr Barry Johnson, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “I’m thrilled that the Tops Club project took home this honour at the first-ever awards celebrating the best individuals, projects and developments in housing within Essex. This scheme in particular will create much-needed and affordable housing close to the riverfront, town centre and railway station.
“Our new build programme, which includes this development, the Claudian Way project and Calcutta Road scheme, is set to create a total of 117 new council homes in Thurrock, and we are proposing up to 500 more over the next five to 10 years.
“These exciting plans for the future of council housing in Thurrock continue to progress and demonstrates our commitment to investing in affordable social housing for our residents.”
Derrick Hadeed, director of ECD Architects which designed the Tops Club project, said: “We are delighted Tops Club has been recognised for its design excellence. It has been wonderful working with the council, the other members of the design team, and now the contractor Rooff on such an exciting project. When completed, Tops Club will provide high quality, sustainable homes which positively impact Grays, whilst supporting the council in its goal to provide much needed affordable housing.”
Two of the council’s housing occupational therapists, Maureen Gallocker and Shona Gormley were also highly commended in the ‘Housing Professional of the Year’ category.
The Housing Essex Excellence Awards aims to identify high quality services, developments and/or individuals from the public, private and voluntary sector and promote best practice. These awards also seek to encourage greater collaboration and innovation in the housing sector.