A RUN-DOWN Canvey housing estate has been revamped and renamed in a bid to change its bad reputation.
Castle Point Council has spent £425,000 sprucing up Chapman Court, in Seaview Road, including new lights, security gates, replacing drains and gullies and putting more plants and seating in the communal courtyard.
The block of flats has previously been blighted by crime and antisocial behaviour.
All residents in the 32 properties have been given key fobs to access the building, and the authority has worked closely with police and architects to ensure the building is safe.
CCTV cameras have been installed at every entrance.
The estate, which was officially reopened on Friday, will now be known as Ozonia Gardens.
It has been named after the Ozonia Hotel, which used to be on the site.
A spokesman for South Essex Homes said the new access system made the flats “vandal resistant”.
Residents are pleased with the long-awaited changes.
Marisa Cleary, 40, has lived in the block for the past 12 months.
She said: “The whole process has been very smooth and it’s great the children can now play in such a large communal area and the parents can know they’re totally safe.
“The builders were great when they were here and were very considerate of the families.”
Another resident, Lynnda, who has lived in her flat for five years, said: “It is very different and it needed attention. We want to feel safe in our homes and nowwe can.”
Before the regeneration, the flats were widely regarded as an eyesore and it is hoped the work will bring an end to antisocial behaviour, overflowing bins and maggot infestations.
Beverley Egan, councillor responsible for housing, said: “When I came here last year it had a very dismal feel to it and there was rubbish everywhere.
“It couldn’t be more different nowand I’m particularly pleased at the way the council has worked with the residents to make it happen.
“We now just need to move past the stigma attached to the estate.”
Tory Canvey councillor Ray Howard said: “The site got increasingly tired and it needed this refurbishment.
“The residents seem very happy and after seeing the site, I understand why.”
The council’s £708,000 refurbishment of apartments at Gowan Court, Benfleet, is also progressing well, with half of the homes now refurbished.
The project is expected to be completed in November.