Gravesham Council loan to replace Huggins bungalows in Gravesend for ex-services personnel
PUBLISHED: 07:03 08 January 2020
Gravesham Council is backing a local charity with a massive cash boost.
The authority revealed it has agreed a £2million loan to enable a charity supporting former armed forces personnel to launch a major redevelopment of its site.
The Elizabeth Huggins Cottages in Gravesend houses local ex-service personnel, many of whom are disabled, in 13 bungalows at Cross Lane West.
The council said the bungalows were built in 1923, and while they were refurbished in 1984 they are becoming increasingly costly to maintain.
Planning permission exists for demolition and redevelopment of the site to provide 40 new units made up of cottages, houses and apartments.
Tony Pritchard, chairman of the trustees of the charity and a Gravesham councillor, said: "The Huggins Cottages were built around the time that our soldiers were coming home from the First World War and in need of somewhere to live.
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"That purpose and tradition has continued for around 100 years, and all in Gravesham should be so proud of that consideration and service for our ex-servicemen and women.
"However, the cottages are now far beyond their reasonable expected age, and are in desperate need of redeveloping, and so about five years ago the trust was granted planning permission to create a new complex of units, all for our ex-armed services.
"It is to that end that the borough council has stepped forward to help in getting this started by contributing the funding for the first phase.
"With this on the way, we look forward to creating a great new complex which will continue to serve our ex-service personal in time of need."
And council leader John Burden added: "This authority is a proud supporter of our armed forces community, having signed the Armed Forces Covenant and been awarded the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme bronze award.
"Having satisfied ourselves that necessary conditions and securities are in place to protect the loan, we are delighted to be able to support this invaluable local charity and help it make a start on a development that will support our local former service personnel for many years to come."