Rainham flats first in England to get enclosed balcony gardens

“Groundbreaking” new plans will see Rainham flats be the first in England to get enclosed balcony gardens.

The new ‘winter gardens’ will be installed at New Plymouth and Napier Houses after a consultation with residents.

It will involve installing new glazed balconies, which will be enclosed by a glazed window system so it can be used all year around.

The council said it should reduce heating costs and provide extra soundproofing.

It is believed to be the first time they are being installed in a social housing scheme.

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Havering Council said it recognised that both properties are in need of major works and wanted to give them a revamp.

The improvements plans would include �1.5m spent on fitting new windows and doors, replacing poor kitchens and bathrooms, installing new heating systems and other works.

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The works are being carried out to bring the properties up to the Decent Homes standard.

Residents will be asked what they think of the garden plans during August, and if they are supported work could start in summer 2013. The Decent Homes works and new balconies could be completed by late summer 2014.

Cllr Lesley Kelly, cabinet member for housing, said: “Our plans for New Plymouth and Napier House are truly groundbreaking and would completely transform the flats for our residents and hopefully lead to further improvements in the area.

“The winter gardens would totally change the appearance of the blocks and turn them into a landmark buildings to be proud of.

“I hope residents are supportive of our plans and I look forward to hearing their views during the consultation.”

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