A FORMER factory site blighted by vandalism will be social housing for people on the council housing list.

Chelmer Housing Partnership has bought the former Delford’s Factory site in Main Road, Dovercourt and has started work on building 66 new homes.

But there will also be an extra piece of public green space on the site after a pressure group lobbied the developer.

The Open Spaces Society, Britain’s leading pressure-group for town and village greens, called on M Scott Properties to set aside a new area of green space.

It came after the development was given permission for 66 homes, meaning an area of Dovercourt Green would be lost to make way for an entrance to the new housing estate.

In July M Scott Properties applied to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to remove the 60 square metre of green space from the register.

But the Open Spaces Society objected, arguing the developers should provide land in exchange.

Now M Scott Properties has resubmitted the application with the offer of 160 square metres of new green within the development site.

Hugh Craddock, one of the case officers for the Open Spaces Society, said: “We welcome this change of heart from the developer. The new town green will be a permanent asset to the public, especially the residents of the new development.

“We urge developers to always offer suitable land in exchange when they wish to de-register town or village green or common land, and we trust the Secretary of State for Environment will always require it.”

M Scott Properties sold the site to Chelmer Housing Partnership, a locally managed and governed charitable housing association.

The development is under construction and is expected to be finished by May 2019.

The former Delfords factory site, off Main Road, in Dovercourt, was left derelict and unused for almost ten years.

Councillors and residents in nearby Dockfield Avenue had to contend with vandalism, arson and mess caused by roosting seagulls in the empty buildings.

There were also fears for the safety of children who would climb the structures.

Once completed, there will be 30 houses and 36 apartments, all used for social housing with 75per cent of residents to come from Tendring Council’s housing list.

Carl Hockey, director of development and sales, said: “CHP has bought the land and will be providing 66 new homes for affordable rent to members of the local Tendring community.”