NEW family homes are to be built on a long-derelict former laundry site in Westcliff.

Southend Council has approved Estuary Housing’s plans for 27 two and threebedroom homes for rent on the former Sunlight Laundry site, between North Road and Salisbury Avenue.

Dr Marimuthu Velmurugan (Ind, Westborough), said: “It’s a most welcome development. It’s an unsightly place.”

Alan Crystall, (Lib Dem, Leigh), who now chairs the cross-party planning committee said: “It’s a tight scheme, but we are getting 27 affordable homes.”

Under the plans, seven two-storey houses will front onto Salisbury Road, with three more on North Road.

The remaining homes will be between the two rows of houses, reached via a new road from Salisbury Avenue. Parking for 27 cars will be provided.

Builder Randall Watts has offered to pay the council £2,500 towards the cost providing access to the site an £13,500 for a work of public art on the site.

Because the homes are all to be offered for affordable rents, the council has waived its usal requirement for a contribution towards the local education budget.

The Sunlight Laundry opened in 1948 and closed just under a decade ago, after which the building was demolished.

Since then the site has become an eyesore and a magnet for flytipping.

Because the site previously had a commercial use, the developer will be required to decontaminate the land before building starts.

Two derelict houses in North Road are not included in the redevelopment, but are set to be refurbished as part of a separate planning application approved in April.