A NEW £6.9million flat development in Wickford will be used for social housing to help reduce the waiting list.

The site, on Nevendon Road, Wickford, is expected to house 30 new flats, as well as a ground-floor car park.

Engie, a services and regeneration company, is working with the Peabody Housing Association to construct the site.

Councillor David Harrison said: “I believe it’s planned to all be used for social housing.

“This is a positive for the town.

“There’s a shortage of housing in the town, and this will help that.

“Providing accommodation is always a positive.

“It’s a large and prominent site.

“I hope the finish on it will be suitable for the town.”

The plans for the new development, situated on the former Rylands hostel site, were submitted to Basildon council, in September 2017, with specific details emerging in recent weeks.

The 30 flats will feature three flats for disabled residents, with 27 other one and two bedroom flats.

Councillor Eunice Brockman added: “If it goes ahead how it’s planned, then it’s a positive.

“It needs to be prioritised for people in our area.

“Residents from Basildon and Wickford need to be put first.

“The parking needs to adequate.

“We’ve had problems before with parking.

“If there’s enough there, it will be fine.”

A spokesman for Engie said: “The £6.9million scheme is 100per cent affordable, and will consist of three fully fitted flats for people with disabilities, 27 one-bedroom and two-bed flats, as well as a commercial unit when complete.

“The development is a positive move for the area, helping to tackle the housing shortage in the town by providing socially rented homes for people on Basildon council’s waiting list.”