BULLDOZERS are moving in and demolition is finally starting at part of the Craylands estate described as “resembling a warzone” after years of inactivity.

More than 15 years ago an ambitious project to raze the estate to the ground and build 1,310 new homes was announced but despite initial success, the project was left abandoned and unfinished.

The £250million regeneration was split into three phases and empty homes in “phase north” have become a hotspot for anti-social behaviour and drug use in recent years following the collapse of project lead Swan Housing.

Now, Sanctuary Housing has taken over the project and has confirmed demolition is underway on the dilapidated flat blocks.

Echo: Skips - work is finally underwaySkips - work is finally underway (Image: Newsquest)

Craig Rimmer, Conservative candidate for Pitsea South East, said: “I am delighted. Sanctuary said they are committed to Basildon, and they are showing that with their actions.

“It is a good thing. It is going to be good for people in the estate as well that things are actually moving now.

“Hopefully, we will be in a position soon to talk about all the nice new houses instead.”

Phase west has already seen hundreds of homes completed.

Phase south includes homes which are still being lived in by residents, unlike the empty homes in phase north which are going to be demolished.

Sanctuary is still reviewing future plans for phase south.

Andrew Schrader, Conservative candidate for Billericay East, added: “I am very pleased to hear that after such a long delay Sanctuary are picking up this vital project and moving things forward.

“The wait had been intolerable for residents and hopefully we will now start to see some real progress.”

A spokesman for Sanctuary said: “We are pleased to have started demolition work on this exciting regeneration programme and will continue to keep the local community updated on plans.”

Craig Rimmer is standing in Pitsea South East. The other candidates are Yetunde Adeshile (Con), Gary Canham (Con), Linda Harrison (Ind), Christoper Hilleard (Lab), Gillian Palmer (Lab), Steven Spowart (Lib Dem), Ben Westwick (Lab), and Steven Willis (Green).

Andrew Schrader is standing in Billericay East. The other candidates are Andy Barnes (Con), Andrew Brennan (Green), Sally Bunyan (Lab), Laura Clark (Lib Dem), Stewart Goshawk (Green). Martyn Mordecai (Con), Peter Smith (Lib Dem), and Andy Tatman (Green).