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Housing and Planning Minister Gavin Barwell has visited Medway to highlight how the region is leading the way in fixing the broken housing market.
Following the recent publication of the Housing White Paper, the minister toured three sites across Kent and Essex, demonstrating the diversity of the measures set out and their potential to deliver a housing market that works for everyone.
As part of the trip, Barwell opened a new affordable homes development in Gillingham. Built on the former site of Gillingham Community College, the site is part of a £8.5 million housing development project and is one of the largest council-built, energy efficient bungalow sites in the UK.
The homes have been designed with older tenants and people with mobility problems in mind, suitable for those looking to downsize as well as people who struggle in their current living accommodation.
The minister’s visit also saw him explore the Port of Tilbury in Essex to discuss their future plans for growth in the Thames Gateway area and Latis, an ambitious SME housebuilder, which is delivering nearly 300 new homes as part of a flagship gated eco-community on public sector land formerly owned by the Ministry of Defence.
Barwell said: “It has been a great opportunity to visit three exciting developments across the South East of England, showcasing the range and diversity of our housing ambitions as set out in our Housing White Paper.
“From seeing a better choice of accommodation for older people in Gillingham, to the re-development of public sector land in Chatham by an ambitious SME housebuilder, and witnessing the expansion of infrastructure in Tilbury. All of these sites reflect the key priorities for this government and these developers are leading the way in efforts to fix our broken housing market and ensure this is a country that works for everyone.”
Councillor Howard Doe, Medway Council’s deputy leader, added: “We are very proud of Centenary Gardens and we were very pleased to welcome the minister to officially open the new-build development, which is one of the largest council-built energy efficient bungalow sites in the UK.
“This new development of 32 affordable homes caters especially for those who are less-mobile and some have been specially designed for wheelchair users. These council homes follow on from the success of phase one of this multi-million pound project which saw the creation of 26 homes on former garage sites. The aim of this housing project was to offer people the chance to rent good quality, energy-efficient homes that they can afford, and it’s safe to say we have achieved this.”
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