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Top MP James Cleverly opens much-needed affordable homes

Fri 23 February 2018

Around 30 people in need of an affordable home have moved into brand new apartments in Braintree - thanks to a community partnership to ease the housing crisis.

Essex-based Colne Housing teamed up with their development partner Iceni Homes and Braintree District Council to build the 21 one and two-bedroom apartments.

Most of the homes have been let at affordable rents to people who are in work and on Braintree District Council’s housing register. Three of the apartments are for individuals or families requiring temporary accommodation – and furnished by Colne and the council.

James Cleverly MP, Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party, officially opened the £3.2m new community development on February 23 – unveiling a commemorative plaque and meeting residents.

He said: “Solving the housing crisis is high on the Government’s agenda. I am pleased and encouraged to see like-minded organisations in Braintree leading the way in partnership-working, this has made a real difference to people who desperately need homes they can afford.”

He was joined by representatives from Braintree District Council, Colne Housing, Iceni Homes and builders Gipping Construction.

Colne’s Chief Executive Sara Thakkar said: “These apartments provide stability for those in work who are priced out of the housing market as well as those who need support while they get their lives back on track.

“This is a fantastic example of how Colne enables independent living for people with different needs. I am really proud of the innovation and collaboration that has helped us create this new community.”

Cllr Lynette Bowers-Flint, Braintree District Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning, said: “We were very keen to work in partnership with Colne Housing on this development opportunity, which meets two important priorities for us. The new one and two bedroom homes deliver much-needed affordable housing in the district. At the same time it provides an opportunity to regenerate a very important part of the town.”

The apartments have been built to a high standard to cater for a range of people’s needs. All ground floor homes have wet rooms which are suitable for less mobile residents – and state of the art fire safety equipment has been installed.

Last year Colne invited local residents to suggest a name for the new access road to the development on the former site of the Essex County Council building off Station Approach.

The winning entry – ‘Great Eastern Close’ – was submitted by Wayne Claydon, from Newnham Close, who was a familiar face as Braintree station’s ticket office supervisor before he retired in 2015. He had worked at the station for 34 years and was invited to attend the opening ceremony.

Colne and Iceni Homes are also working with Braintree District Council to build new homes in Halstead which are due to be ready in the Spring.

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Top MP James Cleverly opens much-needed affordable homes

James Cleverly MP unveils the plaque

Top MP James Cleverly opens much-needed affordable homes

New homes in Braintree

Top MP James Cleverly opens much-needed affordable homes

Road named by local man

Top MP James Cleverly opens much-needed affordable homes

Colne's Sara Thakkar (left), James Cleverly MP and Cllr Lynette Bowers-Flint at the official opening