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Old lock-ups make way for new homes to cut Tower Hamlets’ waiting list

PUBLISHED: 18:05 12 June 2018 | UPDATED: 14:04 13 June 2018

Mayor Biggs (second from right) dons a tin hat arriving at construction site on Bethnal Green's Collingwood Estate. Picture: Kois Miah

Mayor Biggs (second from right) dons a tin hat arriving at construction site on Bethnal Green's Collingwood Estate. Picture: Kois Miah

Kois Miah

The site of a new development with 53 new council homes in Bethnal Green with their own community centre has been given the ‘once over’ by Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs today.

Mayor gets to grips adding his touch to Tower Hamlets' house-building programme. Picture: Kois Miah Mayor gets to grips adding his touch to Tower Hamlets' house-building programme. Picture: Kois Miah

Work has started on the new centre for the Collingwood estate on the site where old lock-up garages once stood in Barnsley Street, ready by 2021.

The project helps snip a bit off the council’s housing queue of 19,000 families.

The Mayor promised: “This scheme provides housing at social rents for people on our waiting list.”

It includes one-bedroom to three-bedroom properties including wheelchair accessible–something in very short supply, the mayor admits.

Showing the mayor how to demolish the old stuff to make way for the new housing was trainee Charlie Carter, who joined the council in October 2017 as part of a two-year graduate programme run by the Local Government Association.

He said: “I’ll complete four placements over the course of my traineeship, to get an insight into the many sides of the authority’s work”.

Charlie is currently working in the council’s housing regeneration department, which identifies, prepares and starts work on sites suitable for housing.

Half the homes in the Collingwood scheme are being let at social rent and the rest at “living rent” in line with the policy by the town hall’s Affordability Commission as “a step towards the 1,000 council homes” target.

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