Milestone for £42m project to tackle county’s housing shortage

THESE artist impressions show how an empty council building will be transformed into much-needed homes as part of a wider £42m project to help tackle Essex’s housing shortage.

Essex County Council has planning permission to turn the former library HQ and storage warehouse in Goldlay Gardens, Chelmsford, into 32 one and two bedroom apartments.

The new homes, including nine affordable units, will be built in three blocks – all with balconies or terraces, roof mounted solar panels and car parking – around a central courtyard garden. It is the first site to be developed by Essex Housing, the authority’s in-house team that works with public sector partners countywide to identify surplus land for development and make the most of taxpayer-owned assets.

Cllr John Spence, Cabinet member responsible for housing, said: “The development of Goldlay Gardens represents a real milestone in our project to find idle pockets of public sector land and bring them forward for development to help tackle the county’s housing shortage.

“This is the first of many sites the Essex Housing team is bringing forward and will provide high quality apartments on surplus brownfield land in the heart of Chelmsford’s city centre.

“Land owned by the public sector is ultimately owned by the taxpayer, therefore it is incredibly important that we, as custodians, are making the most of these assets.”

Cllr Spence, the Cabinet member for Finance, Housing and Planning, Cllr David Finch, leader of Essex County Council, and Cllr Dick Madden, Cabinet member for Adults and Children, will visit (visited) the site on Tuesday to watch the demolition on site, before construction work on the apartments begins.

Rose Builders Ltd has been chosen to develop the site.

Steven Rose, Managing Director of Rose Builders Limited commented “we are delighted to be working with Essex Housing in the delivery of this landmark project”.

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