New family homes have gone on sale for the first time on the site of a former prison.

The first 17 luxury houses in Bullwood Gardens, Hockley, have been advertised, as part of what will eventually become a 72-home estate.

The development has completely transformed the 48-acre site and seen the old Bullwood Hall prison bulldozed.

HMP Bullwood Hall, which closed in 2013, was built on High Road in the 1960s and held predominately female inmates during its time.


At its height, it held 234 prisoners.

Demolition of the old prison began in 2018. Although no official statement from developers has been made, the Echo understands work on the new homes is nearing completion.

Adrian Eves, councillor for Hockley, admits it will be good to see the site brought into new use.

He said: “They’re quality homes and there are affordable homes involved in it as well so we can be grateful for the addition to the community.”

Despite optimism at the overhaul, Mr Eves admitted to having some concerns about the development’s impact.


Having been on the planning committee which eventually voted through the plans, he said there was now “not a lot” that could be done about the possible disruption caused.

He said: “The main point of contention has always been the access to the site.

“Unfortunately, as it always seems to be, we are beholden to the report which seemed to be out of touch.”

He added: “There’s always concerns too about the capacity for the schools, NHS, and any other services about how they can cope.

“It’s been an ongoing problem in the Rochford district where we’re limited in what can be done.”


While Mr Eves was also quick to welcome any new residents to a “lovely” area of Hockley, he said lessons needed to be learned ahead of the council’s local plan, which will decide where homes in district are built until 2040.

He added: “At the moment it’s a very contentious issue. Everything that gets the nod in the local plan can potentially be a foot in the door for development in Hockley.

“The B1013 can stand no more increase in traffic.

“Anything that feeds out onto that for me is a no.”