RESIDENTS fear they will be priced out of living on Basildon’s Craylands Estate.

Basildon Council leader Andrew Baggott moved to reassure those being moved they will be offered alternative accommodation.

But residents are worried they could end up paying more.

Barry Jackson, 46, said: “I don’t know how they expect us to afford these new homes.

“Most of these are council homes and a lot of us have lived here for a very long time.

“Look at those prices, yes the council may give us some money, but it will not be half of that, nowhere near it.

“I know that this estate has a bad reputation, and rightly so in some ways, but the council do not want us here.”

One resident, aged 67, who has lived on the estate 15 years is unsure what the future holds.

She said: “It’s the same old story get rid of the poor and get the rich in.

“No one wants this estate here, especially the council.

“How can you replace a massive estate like this, and no one care.”

Mr Baggott refuted claims residents were being ignored and insisted the council is doing all it can to help.

He said: “Tenants in social or council housing in the estate will be able to move from their current properties into new properties either somewhere new, anywhere in the borough, or within the new development in Craylands.

“They will be paying registered social housing rates and there will not be an increase in rates because of these new properties, unless the tenant chooses to move into a larger property, which naturally will incur a larger cost.”

However with many of the homes growing in size residents may have to move elsewhere to afford them.

The first phase of Craylands’ regeneration was completed last year, with 161 properties demolished and 404 new properties built.

Last week the Echo revealed 251 modular homes were being built.

These start at £295,000 for a two-bed home and rise to £410,000 for a four bedroom home.

The overall regeneration scheme will see the demolition of 521 properties, which will be replaced with 994 new homes.

Several residents claim they are yet to be contacted by the council.

Anthony Hedley, chairman of the regeneration committee, said: “Properties for rent available in future phases of the regeneration of the Craylands estate will first be offered to existing tenants.

“As part of the relocation scheme, tenants will be compensated for home loss and disturbance including help with removal costs.”