Issued: October 6, 2017
Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing praises Epping Forest District Council for "leading the way" over new council housebuilding
VIDEO: Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing at the controls of a digger almost three years ago (November 2014) starts demolition work on the former garages site on which John Scott Court is now built CLICK HERE
PICTURES: A selection of pictures from today's opening, for media use, can be downloaded HERE
The official opening of a new housing scheme in Waltham Abbey shows Epping Forest District Council is "leading the way" when it comes to council housebuilding, Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing has said.
John Scott Court in Waltham Abbey - nine homes to be let to residents in housing need - is the first phase of the council's housebuilding programme to provide 23 new affordable rented energy-efficient homes in Waltham Abbey.
The development is named after John Scott who was the council's district health and housing officer and joint chief executive and was the chief officer responsible for the council's housing service for 18 years. He worked for the council for a total of 29 years before he retired in 2007.
Epping Forest District Council's plan to develop more than 300 new council homes over the next ten years is now well underway.
The new homes are mainly being built on former under-used garage sites.
Phase 2, scheduled for completion by next March, will see 51 affordable rented flats and houses built on Burton Road, Loughton, while Phase 3 promises 34 new properties over eight sites in Epping, North Weald and Coopersale.
All properties will be owned and managed by Epping Forest District Council and let to local residents in housing need.
Mrs Laing, who attended the opening ceremony at John Scott Court on Friday, said: "I am delighted Epping Forest District Council is leading the way when it comes to building new council housing.
"These new properties are superb in every way - they are energy-efficient and providing vital accommodation for local people and families who need houses (in housing need).
"The council is already working on the second and third phases of its housebuilding programme and I look forward to seeing the new developments in Loughton, Epping, North Weald and Coopersale in the months ahead.
"Given that the Prime Minister only announced the Government's 'new generation of council houses' on Wednesday, I am delighted Epping Forest District Council is well ahead of the game when it comes to providing new council housing for our residents."
Prime Minister Theresa May, in her speech to the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester on Wednesday, said a "new generation of council houses" would get the Government back into the business of building houses.
She said: "We will do this by increasing the Government’s affordable housing budget by £2 billion to more than £9 billion, encouraging councils as well as housing associations to bid for this money and, in those parts of the country where the need is greatest, allowing homes to be built for social rent well below market levels."
Guests at the opening of John Scott Court also viewed a development of six houses and flats at Hockley Court, named after Fred Hockley, a long-time resident of Waltham Abbey and a member of the Red Cross.