ABANDONED garages across Castle Point are set to be ripped out and replaced with affordable housing in a bid to slash waiting lists.

Castle Point Council officers have been scouring sites across the borough to find locations where homes could be built to avoid building on open space and the green belt.

It comes as demand for social housing in the area remains high, with 470 people on the housing needs waiting list.

Three sets of disused garages have been identified, where the council is hoping to build seven new homes.

Dave Blackwell, Canvey Independent Party Leader of Castle Point Council, said: “There is no way we can build on sites, such as fields and leisure centres.

“That is why the council sent out officers to different sites that we own to see if there are possible options to build more homes.

“They did the survey and discovered three garages that are no longer being used; and since then, we have pinned down three more.”

Three similar developments have previously been approved by the council, which are in construction and will provide nine homes.

This includes two three and one two-bedroom houses in Link Road, Canvey, four two-bedroom homes in 54-60 Linden Way, Canvey, and two two-bedroom properties in Cedar Road, Canvey.

Now, they are hoping to build an additional three one-bedroom houses in Linden Way, Canvey, two three-bedroom homes in Benderloch, Canvey, and two two-bedroom properties in Carlton Drive, Benfleet.

Mr Blackwell added: “There are far too many people on the waiting list for new affordable homes.

“This project shows we are looking at everything and exploring every possibility to make the idea of making more properties available.

“We will wait on the figures from the Government funding to come through at the next council meeting, and then we will decide how much we can put them up for rent.”

The total cost for the scheme is £2.184million, with them being part-funded under the Right to Buy grant with a contribution of £874k required.