Staff on site to help move residents on Thurrock estate

Thurrock housing staff are set to move onto the Blackshots estate as plans to move residents out ahead of demolition pick up speed.

The damp and mouldy homes on the estate will be replaced with new homes and work is already underway to move residents out of 168 homes in the three blocks.

Residents in the 11-storey blocks have suffered appalling conditions in recent years and the council is keen to rehome as many people as soon as possible so the redevelopment can get underway.

The new office will provide a place for housing officers to oversee the transfer of residents and will give residents somewhere to meet and discuss concerns. Security staff will also be based there.

The building will be placed between Morrison House and Bevan House for a period of two years.

As of late November, 30 families were reported to have been moved but Joy Redsell, Conservative councillor for Little Thurrock and Blackshots says that has now increased.

She said: “It’s somewhere for residents to go so they haven’t got to travel to the offices or ring the offices. There’s going to be someone on site as go on. We’ve decanted over 50 now and think there is another 17 in process at the moment.

“It’s going well, better than we expected it to go. The little bit of green belt they want to take as well is an issue but we’ll fight that.

It’s a good thing to have that there.”

A report to Thurrock Council’s planning committee said: “The temporary office building would act as a meeting space for local residents and staff to discuss the wider development works and any rehousing.

“The temporary building would have a somewhat utilitarian appearance in the street scene but is modest in scale and appearance compared with the tower blocks on either side. Its limited height would not have any significant impacts upon views into or out of the open area to the south and its height would not be particularly incongruous in the context of the nearby rows of single storey garages.”

Planning officers concluded: “The building would be located on a parcel of land that contributes very little to the public realm at present, given its small size and location between two existing tower blocks.

“The building is only required for a temporary period and is in the public interest given its intended use as a meeting place for local residents to raise any concerns regarding the works to the tower blocks that are to be carried out.”

The application is “deemed granted” subject to conditions but will be discussed by the planning committee on Thursday.

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Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter