TWENTY newly opened apartments will guarantee Basildon residents “have a future” in the town centre.

Sempra Homes – the housebuilding arm of Basildon Council –- began work to build the new homes last summer.

And on Thursday, Gavin Callaghan, council leader, attended the site, in Long Lynderswood, alongside Sempra Homes officers and contractors to mark the completion of works.

The development is called Maplewood Court and is made up of two-bedroom shared ownership apartments along with car and cycle parking.

They will be specifically for key workers including teachers, nurses, police officers and borough residents on a shared ownership basis.

Mr Callaghan said: “We are clear that we must build more houses to help more people from Basildon get into a home of their own. The council is serious about delivering on that promise.

“These apartments are a welcome addition to the town and I am very proud they will be made available exclusively to the borough’s key workers and residents. This is a Basildon first approach to our allocations policy, to ensure our residents have a future in the town.

“This is a smart development by Sempra on a patch of previously wasted land that adds value to the area. Sempra was set up with the aim of building high-quality and affordable homes for our residents and we are delivering. Our task now is to accelerate more housing delivery through Sempra and we will be bringing forward more planning applications this year so we can get shovels in the ground as soon as possible.

“I am also pleased these homes were being built by Wickford-based company, Indecon Building Ltd, which has a workforce predominantly made up of borough residents.”

Sempra Homes was set up by Basildon Council as an independent company to deliver properties for affordable rent, shared ownership, market rent and market sale.

Melanie Keys, manager of Sempra Homes, said: “We are really proud to bring this new development to the market which is a testament to the hard work of the team.

“Our shared ownership homes will provide opportunities to purchase a share in a home where outright purchase is not affordable.

“Through our shared ownership programme we are working alongside the Government’s Help to Buy scheme, enabling residents to purchase an initial share of their home with an option to buy further shares as they can afford to do so.”

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