WORK on 90 affordable homes which council bosses hope give residents the "opportunity to take their first steps on the property ladder” is now underway - but not everyone is convinced. 

Home Group, a housing association, has partnered with Barratt David Wilson Homes to deliver the new homes on the 300-property Low Road development in Dovercourt.

Despite the scale of the project, developers have assured residents commitments have been made to also improve local infrastructure including schools and transport links.

Craig Crowley, head of development and delivery at Home Group, said: “We are really pleased to be partnering on this scheme and ensuring the delivery of these affordable homes for people in Dovercourt.

“We know how important it is for there to be affordable opportunities for local people to get onto the housing market.

“This scheme is just another part of our commitment to delivering high quality, affordable homes in the south of England, and particularly across Essex.”

Some residents, however, fear the impact the development may have on the area. 

Marie Keighley said: "When are they building new schools and doctors to accommodate the properties? Because I bet of lot of that housing won’t house local people."

Matt Fell, on the other hand, said he'd rather see more council homes and bungalows for disabled people being built, while, Ian Woolward said: "I doubt many locals will get a look in. They are built to attract city commuters."

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: Supportive - Councillor Ivan Henderson said with a lack of affordable housing, the development was good news for the townnSupportive - Councillor Ivan Henderson said with a lack of affordable housing, the development was good news for the townn (Image: Maria Fowler)

Councillor Ivan Henderson, however, is somewhat more optimistic.

He said: "There has been a real lack of affordable housing available so this is good news for young people to have a choice to get on the housing ladder.

"People think affordable houses equals more new people in the area but we need to think about our own young people and young families who want to settle in the town."

Mr Henderson said key workers including the health sector could use the houses and also added the 90 affordable homes should also be open to "people who are thinking to come to Harwich to settle down". 

Home Group - a North-East based social enterprise - is one of the UK’s largest providers of housing, health and care, employing about 3,500 colleagues.

In the the last year, the social enterprise delivered support to about 11,000 people with mental and physical health issues.

The group is also supported by Persona - its own outright sale arm which it launched in 2018 - meaning that all profits from Persona are reinvested to build more social and affordable homes.

For more information and to contact Home Group visit