Brooke House, Basildon, to benefit from £ 6m improvement work


A shabby block of 60-year-old apartments is being renovated for £ 6 million – the bosses hope that work can start “immediately”.

Residents at Basildon’s Brooke House have welcomed the news after years of trouble, including being without water or electricity for two days last September.

The apartments on the town square, built in 1962, will be reinforced by a new ventilation system, replacement windows and an improved water and electrical system.

The plan was approved as part of the Basildon Council budget, which received the seal of approval on Thursday night.

Gavin Callaghan, the chairman of the council, said, “We need to get the scaffolding in place. We’ll have a strategy to decamp people for two weeks while the work goes on.

“Investments have been made for 20 years tinkering with the margins. It will be at the heart of the city center regeneration plan. ”

Jack Whitchelo, who moved out of Brooke House in December, thanked Mr. Callaghan and the council for “listening to the residents.”

He said, “I feel your pain, I had it myself. I’ve been through what you are going through.

“The elevators are unreliable. You collapse three times a week. We went without water for two days.

“This money is going to make a huge difference to the people who live there right now.”

Michaela Martin, 45, announced that the residents are still having problems and have had no bathroom light for 19 weeks.

She said, “I haven’t had a bathroom light for 19 weeks and there has been a leak in the bathroom since October. The engineers have not yet been able to find the leak.

“I was offered temporary accommodation but it wasn’t pet friendly and I have a dog.

This work and renovation cannot come soon enough. ”

Mr Callaghan added that the windows were unsafe and would be replaced.

He said, “The windows are currently opening from the bottom up. We’re changing this so that they open from above.

“We will also be building double-glazed windows, from there there have been a lot of noise complaints. We are also installing improved video surveillance and elevator shafts there.”

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