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Despite the current challenges, work is progressing behind the scenes to secure land for more town centre housing in the future.
Sempra Homes has completed the successful purchase of a 1.5 hectare site in Laindon Link known as Car Park 14. It is a prime location close to Basildon town centre and Sempra’s newly released development at Maplewood Court.
The site previously owned by Homes England was sold to the council’s housebuilding company for £2.6million to bring forward a mixed tenure development to meet the housing needs and aspirations of the borough.
Leader of Basildon Council, Councillor Gavin Callaghan, welcomed the opportunity to create more housing.
He said: “Our primary focus right now is to save as many people’s lives as possible and ensure we all play by the new rules.
“However, at the end of this we will need to rebuild in every way so it is excellent to see that whilst working remotely we are all still able to pull together to complete these deals that will help us provide more homes.
“This is the result of months of work with Homes England and shows how committed we are to rebuilding Basildon. Our regeneration is going to happen and we are continuing to source opportunities for the council to proactively intervene to improve the town and bring it into the 21st century.
“Many of these new homes will be allocated to our residents and key workers, those we must appreciate and thank more than ever as this global health crisis unfolds.
“We plan to create 4,000 new homes as part of the Basildon town centre masterplan. These will form part of that and represent another step forward in the reimagining of the town centre.”
Sempra Homes Manager Melanie Keys added: “We are pleased to complete this purchase which is a significant acquisition for Sempra and the result of many months of hard work with colleagues from Homes England.
“With the unprecedented challenges facing all of us we are working remotely to deliver key projects, with our partners, and we will work closely with Basildon Council to bring this site forward to the benefit of the borough and residents.”
The council recently announced it had bought the Market Pavement block and part of South Walk including the former Rileys snooker club for £5million. This followed the successful acquisition of the company that owns Acorn House in Basildon town centre.
The company already has permission and contracts in place to convert the building into 94 apartments – mainly of one bedroom, with some two-bedrooms.