A BLOCK of garages could be demolished to make way for new council houses.

Three homes are being built as part of a programme to introduce new Basildon Council owned properties to the borough for the first time in 30 years.

A planning application has been submitted to the council’s planning department to build the two-bedroom homes at Rayside East, Basildon.

The homes will replace 36 garages, 34 of which are not in use.

The remaining privately owned garage will be purchased by the authority, and the other tenant will be offered a garage nearby.

The homes will be developed for shared ownership by Sempra Homes - a commercial arm of Basildon Council set up to develop quality housing across the borough.

The development will also provide 15 parking spaces, six of which will be allocated to the new homes.

Mandie Skeat, Basildon Council’s head of housing and community services, said: “The New Homes Programme will see Basildon’s first new council homes built in three decades.

“The council is committed to redeveloping underused parcels of land which will help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.”

Melanie Keys, Sempra Homes manager, added: “Sempra Homes is committed to providing quality new homes for residents and reviving local areas which are at risk of falling into disrepair.

“This proposed development will provide opportunity for residents to get their first steps on the property ladder by owning a share of their own property and paying ‘affordable rent’ on the remainder. With the option of buying more shares and eventually owning 100 per cent.”

A number of former garage blocks in the borough are being demolished to make way for new houses.

This is mainly due to an increase in demand for garages, with the blocks quickly becoming underused and falling into a state of poor repair.

In May, Basildon Council approved its own application to turn the Thackeray Row garage site, in Wickford, into four two-bedroom houses, which will be available for affordable rent.

Eight car parking spaces will be provided for the houses, and a further 14 for neighbouring properties to use.

Building work for the The New Homes Programme has already started at other sites.

In Quendon Road, Basildon, four two-bedroom houses are being built on land where a disused children’s centre formerly stood.

Work is also underway to build homes on former garage sites in Victoria Road, Laindon, and Rettendon Gardens, Wickford.

Four two-bedroom houses are being built in Victoria Road and three two-bedroom houses are being built in Rettendon Gardens.