FOUR new zero carbon homes will provide ‘affordable housing for families’ in Shoebury, Southend’s council leader has said.

Construction began on the Saxon Gardens project in August of this year and is expected to be completed by Spring of 2022.

Forming part of a project to developed underused land, the homes are being built on two disused garage sites.

They are classed as zero carbon homes because emissions are reduced using energy efficient materials such as timber and space heating and cooling technologies including solar panels.

“This exciting project, not only creates four new affordable family homes in Shoebury, but it is the first zero carbon build the council has been involved with. I was very pleased to have visited the site last week to see how the project is developing,” councillor Ian Gilbert, leader of the council, said.

The new homes are being built using what is termed ‘modern methods of construction’ or MMC.

The timber frames constructed off-site before being delivered and installed using cranes to navigate construction footprint.

Essex-based contractor Marfleet and Blythe is assisting the council in the delivery of the homes.

The council says “all necessary precautions” are being taken to minimise disruption to the surrounding homes.

Councillor Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment, culture, tourism and planning, said: “It’s a key priority for the council to meet our commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030 and this building scheme is the first of a new method of construction that limits its impacts on the environment and helps us work towards meeting that target. Visiting the site and seeing the project come to life has been very interesting.”

All four homes feature fully accessible and adaptable designs to ensure they are inclusive for people of varying needs to enable independent living.

The council says the project is the latest phase in a number of schemes the council is doing to increase the quality and variety of affordable homes in the borough.

Alongside the council’s acquisitions programme, it means the council is on track to deliver 41 extra homes in 2021/22.