Date issued: 9 December 2020
Colchester Borough Council is set to embark on a total rebuild of Elfreda House, in Iceni Way, Shrub End, Colchester, as part of its drive to ensure its sheltered housing stock is fit for the future.
Members of the Planning Committee approved the project, on Monday (7 December), which will see the existing building owned by the council and managed by Colchester Borough Homes (CBH) demolished to make way for a larger three-storey facility. Under the plans the number of homes will increase from 32 to 36, made up of 34 one-bed and two two-bed apartments.
The existing premises comprise studio flats with shared bathroom facilities, whereas the new build will offer residents their own self-contained bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms.
Each apartment will also have its own outside space, either in the form of a balcony or a courtyard for those on the ground floor.
There will also be shared communal spaces where residents can socialise, and lifts to the upper floors.
The current residents, who have already been rehoused ahead of work starting early next year, will be given the first opportunity to move back into the new facility once it opens in two years’ time.
Cllr Adam Fox, Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “Rebuilding Elfreda House shows the value we place as a council in looking after our older residents. It also marks another milestone in our ambitions to tackle climate change.
“Being able to deliver modern facilities with high environmental standards – something the council is looking to replicate in its other developments across the borough – will make a world of difference to tenants in the new Elfreda House.
“We are ambitious about building new council housing and proud to be supporting our most vulnerable residents.”
The project supports the council’s ambitious aims of delivering 350 new affordable homes for local people by 2024. The council has a proven track record of delivering new social housing projects. In 2018/2019 it successfully bought 16 homes to use as temporary accommodation to house homeless households whilst waiting for permanent homes to become available. Last year, it purchased 35 homes as part of its commitment to a £22m project, approved in August, which will provide an additional 100 council homes for homeless Colchester residents by the end of March 2022.