Housing project snakes a back seat while reptiles are safely removed
- Credit: WILL LODGE/TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL
Adders, slow worms and lizards delayed work on a housing project in Jaywick Sands – with last year’s wintry weather preventing the cold-blooded creatures from being captured and re-released, it has emerged.
Spades are now in the ground for a new development in the Essex village, which was pushed back to safely remove reptiles from the site.
Five new council houses are being built and another five homes are going on the market off Lotus Way as part of efforts to improve the quality of housing in the area.
It is hoped the new development, which gives priority to villagers, will help to change the area’s fortunes and raise its profile.
Jaywick Sands has twice been ranked among England’s most deprived areas, and last year hit national headlines after an American politician inadvertently referred to it in a negative way for his mid-term election campaign.
“This work has not been easy, with reptiles on the site delaying our start to this work, but we hope to see these homes completed and with people moving in towards the end of this year,” said Paul Honeywood, who has special responsibility for the village at Tendring District Council.
Cold weather caused a further delay in starting work at the site, council bosses explained – as with any development, wildlife has to be trapped on site and re-released.
And because reptiles are cold-blooded, they can only be trapped when the outside temperature is above 10C.
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“We have stuck with this project because we know how important it is,” Mr Honeywood added.
“When we speak with the Jaywick Sands community, time and again housing quality is one of the biggest issues they want to see addressed – and that is what we are doing.
“This work also shows our commitment to Jaywick Sands which has huge potential.
“This commitment not only demonstrates to local residents that we truly care about their community, but also signals to our partners and possible investors just how confident we are about the future of an area which sadly often gets a bad name despite being a fantastic place.”
Construction has now begun on the new project, delivered by Tendring District Council and Gipping Construction, and the homes will have a modular design.
Mr Honeywood added: “We are looking to invest and really lead by example to bring significant and lasting change for everyone’s benefit.”
Last year, an American politician apologised after his campaign used an image of Jaywick Sands to warn voters of what could happen if they failed to back President Trump in the US mid-term elections.