New homes built on Havering garage sites
More than 60 new homes have been built on former garage sites by Havering Council, and more than 70 more are under construction.
The homes - funded by the council, the Homes and Communities Agency, developers London & Quadrant, and East Thames and Estuary Housing Association - include a number of wheelchair accessible bungalows with gardens and private parking spaces.
Last year, the council identified “low-demand” and “run-down” garage sites for re-development, as part of its Harold Hill regeneration project, known as Ambitions.
But there was outcry after a number of residents were offered alternative parking arrangements miles from their homes.
Others feared the new builds would create over-crowding.
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The new homes, in Highfields and New Cross Road, are built to ‘Lifetime Homes’ standard, which means adaptations can be made if someone has a disability or becomes infirm.
The new properties are being let to people on the council’s housing register, which currently stands at around 11,000.
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Cllr Steven Kelly, lead member for Harold Hill Ambitions, said: “This has been a very exciting project; the houses have made great improvements to the area. The new houses look clean and modern, a far cry from the garage sites that had become dirty dumping grounds.
“These houses will help reduce the housing waiting list and reduce the crime rate in the area.”
All of the income from the sale of the sites will be invested in further housing or regeneration schemes to benefit local people.
Cllr Lesley Kelly, cabinet member for housing, said: “We have a large waiting list for houses and it’s great that we’ve been able to offer these new homes. The houses are great for families and the area itself is being improved to provide better facilities for residents.
“The land has been put to good use to provide more housing when we really need it.”