MILLION-POUND improvements to two rundown housing estates in Castle Point are under way.

Castle Point Council is funding major refurbishments at Chapman Court flats, in Seaview Road, Canvey, and Gowan Court sheltered housing accommodation, in Gowan Close, Benfleet.

The £425,000 revamp of Chapman Court is nearing completion with new lights installed in the stairwells as well as replacement drains and gullies.

Contractors are decorating the inside and installing new storage and refuse facilities.

Workers will also install new door entry systems.

It is hoped the work, which will be completed in February, will improve security and make the estate a nicer place by bringing an end to problems such as antisocial behaviour, overflowing bins and maggot infestations, which have been plaguing residents for years.

Conservative Canvey councillor Ray Howard said: “I am delighted about this.

“This goes back a long time and I remember us purchasing it when it was an old hotel.

“The building had got tired and looked untidy.

“While this building work has been going on I’ve had a lot of comments from residents who are pleased with the improvements being made.”

Meanwhile, the two-year £708,000 refurbishment of apartments at Gowan Court is progressing well.

The ambitious project, which started in September, has already seen a new heating and hot water system, powered by solar panels, installed and the refurbishment of five bedsits and four flats.

Eventually, the Sixtiesbuilt facility will be completely remodelled with state-of-the-art wet rooms so residents no longer have to share a communal bathroom, as well as new lifts.

Councillor Beverley Egan, responsible for housing, said: “The refurbishments are progressing well.

“The reports from residents at Gowan Court so far have been very encouraging and I have been able to view one of the new flats and I have to say I was very impressed.

“The work at Chapman Court is also a great example of how we are working closely with residents and listening to what they have to say about the place where they live.”