Councillors agreed unanimously at Full Council last week (Wednesday 31 January) to fund Thurrock Regeneration Limited (TRL) to deliver 80 new homes and bungalows at Belmont Road, Grays – a scheme that will include 28 new council houses.
The new approach to funding new council homes is both innovative and ground breaking, reinvesting right-to-buy receipts along with other capital receipts to acquire 28 much needed new council homes for Thurrock residents on the housing register.
As well as 80 new homes it will turn unused and neglected brownfield space in the borough into what the Leader of the Council describes as: "usable open space which can be enjoyed by all."
Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Housing, Cllr Rob Gledhill, spoke after the meeting and said, "Thurrock Regeneration Limited is limited in name but not in its ambition. It is setting the bar on how councils can innovatively look at their local housing market and become a key player in developing land for everybody's benefit.
"Rather than saying that there is no money, this council is building homes, creating £2.3m in surplus through exceptional commercial investments and putting that money straight back into the community.
"We know we need more homes – we could simply sell the land off to a property developer or we can take steps to ensure the homes are built well, when we need them and crucially available as new council housing stock for Thurrock residents.
"Planning permission for this site was agreed on 28 September last year and I'm pleased the council has rallied and supported the plans to change this wasted space into something our residents can enjoy.
"TRL will now receive the funding to move ahead with the scheme which will provide an income stream to the council over the next few years and a dividend at the end of the term.
"I'm pleased members of the Council agreed this exciting development and look forward to visiting once construction begins.”
Construction of the project is expected to take place between summer 2018 and 1 February 2020.
For more information on Thurrock Regeneration Ltd go to thurrock.gov.uk/thurrock-regeneration-housing