The first step in the £1.5billion regeneration of Havering’s council estates is complete as two blocks of housing in Rainham have now been completely demolished.

The new plans for the Napier and New Plymouth House site in Rainham include 126 affordable homes - with a number earmarked for families - and a further 71 homes for private sale targeted at local buyers.

All residents who have been moved off the site to enable the regeneration have been guaranteed the right to return.

It is the first site in phase one of Havering Council's 12 Estates regeneration programme, in partnership with Wates Residential.

The joint venture programme will see around 3,500 high-quality new homes delivered in Havering by 2035.

Havering Council leader Cllr Damian White said: "I am very excited to celebrate such an important milestone in our partnership with Wates Residential, and to acknowledge the impressive impact that our 12 Estates regeneration project has already made on our local economy."

"We have barely completed demolition on the Napier and New Plymouth site and have already seen such a significant investment into the things that matter to the borough.

"Seeing these figures laid out highlights the fact that regeneration is about much more than simply building new homes - we are building a legacy for future generations of local people."

To accompany the project, Havering Council and Wates Residential have invested more than £1.3 million in social value in the Havering community during the first phase of work on the site.

Since work began in July 2019, 72 Havering residents have been hired or have benefitted from training initiatives.

As part of the project, more than 700 Havering students have also been engaged via activities including site visits, apprenticeships and work experience placements.

Havering Council's director of regeneration, Neil Stubbings, and Wates Residential operations director Adrian Fennessy visited the site on Thursday February 27 with Havering College built environment student Izzy.

Izzy is one of the students who have seen their careers kick-started through a two-week work experience placement.

She said: "I've found it incredibly helpful so far. They've had me sit in on several meetings, which has helped me understand the role of a site manager."