A MAN has hit out at a council for delays in trying to rebuild his dream home on Canvey, which was destroyed by fire.

Tom and Valerie Grant could only watch on as fire ripped through their Canvey house in Beverley Avenue, last January, leaving them homeless.

They submitted plans to Castle Point Council last July to rebuild it, in the hopes of being back home by 2014.

But almost a year on, they are still living in temporary accommodation. Mr Grant, 65, said: “We don’t deserve this.

“We have been told it could be months. It was meant to be finished by May, but now it could be well into the summer.

“They have demolished the old bungalow and built all the inside. But we need permission now for the outside bricks and the council said it could take eight to ten weeks for the plans to be approved.

“We want to get it finished now. We’ve had enough. None of this is our fault.”

The blaze started on January 15, 2013, after a boiler exploded and fire tore through the one-bedroom bungalow.

Mr Grant helped his wife, Valerie, and dog, Millie, to safety before returning to try to fight the flames himself.

It took eight crews from Basildon, Rayleigh Weir, Leigh and Corringham three hours to extinguish the fire.

Neighbours claimed the fire had been started by faulty electrical repairs which had been done in the street.

The Health and Safety Executive launched an investigation into the claim, but it was later dropped.

A spokesman for Castle Point Council said: “There are two applications before the council from Mr and Mrs Grant and both of them have been given priority. 

“A decision is to be made shortly.”