A husband and wife who have lived in Barking and Dagenham for over forty years will be among the first people to move into a new Council owned bungalow on a development being constructed by Lakehouse. In a few weeks Mr and Mrs Banks will move into their new bungalow, built on the site of the former Wood Lane Leisure Centre. The 26 bungalow complex is named in honour of Corporal Alex Guy, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2012, and served in the borough’s adopted regiment, the Royal Anglian’s. Lakehouse is constructing another 12 bungalows on the former Lawns Residential Home site in Rainham Road North, which will be known as Luke Allsopp Square, named after a Royal Engineer from Dagenham who died in Iraq in 2003.

Mr and Mrs Banks will be moving from their four bedroom family house where they have lived for over 37 years. Their decision to down size to a smaller and more suitable property means that a local family will benefit when their current home becomes available. Earlier this week the elderly couple got the chance to take a good look around a two-bedroom bungalow, very similar to one that they have been offered. Both were impressed with the space available, including the lovely courtyard and storage area outside. In fact, when they move they’ll live just ten minutes from their daughter Julie and their two grandchildren, which means that it will be much easier for them all to get together.

Councillor Mick McCarthy, Cabinet Member for Housing, welcomed Mr and Mrs Banks to their new home, saying: “We're building hundreds of new council homes in Barking and Dagenham, ranging from one bedroom apartments to family-sized houses. These bungalows are an important part of that mix, and it will be great to see the first tenants moving in this spring. The council is committed to improving the care and support for local people through all stages of life as well as investing in new high quality homes. These new bungalows are a splendid example of the way we are delivering on this commitment. Later in the year a similar estate of 12 bungalows will be opened in Rainham Road North. We’ve had a lot of interest in these properties, which shows what a demand there is among our older tenants. These will be ideal homes for tenants who are perhaps living in a council house that has grown too big for them. They will get a fantastic new home that is right for them, and we can reallocate their house to a local family.”

Colin Marshall, Director of Residential Development for Lakehouse, said: “We are delighted to be working with London Borough of Barking and Dagenham to deliver a borough initiative that is freeing up homes for larger families as well as providing high quality new homes for elderly tenants. Our delivery team has worked tirelessly to get everything right, and we have made some thoughtful finishing touches to ensure that all our visitors receive a warm Lakehouse welcome. Having the opportunity to meet some of the local people who will actually benefit from these spacious new bungalows has reminded us all of the impact we can make in local communities.”

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