WORK has started today to transform a former 30-flat housing block into a facility for people in need as part of a £1.4million project.

Tendring Council has announced that refurbishment and building work has started to change Spendells House, in Naze Park Road, Walton, into a temporary accommodation property for the homeless.

Contractors, Arc Group London, are managing the project and it is hoped that it will be completed in spring 2024.

The work will see the complex changed with new additional facilities added, it will provide 32 flats with laundry and bathroom facilities.  

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Spendells House - This project is expected to cost more than £1.4 millionSpendells House - This project is expected to cost more than £1.4 million (Image: TDC)

There will be an adjoined bungalow on site which will be converted into an office space for council staff and its partner agencies, so they can support the families housed.

It will also have one flat that is wheelchair accessible, and the complex will have the flexibility to connect certain flats together to accommodate larger families.

Cabinet member for housing and planning, Andy Baker, believes this facility will benefit the residents of Walton and the council.

He said: “Creating this new facility at Spendells House will provide much-needed emergency accommodation, and reduce our reliance on bed and breakfasts for those in need.

“Not only is this much better for those who find themselves in such difficult circumstances – keeping them closer to their home and providing a guaranteed minimum quality – but also will reduce our spending on costly emergency accommodation.

“I look forward to the opening of this facility once work has completed next year.”

Spendells House originally started in the early 1960s but closed in March 2018 due to its unpopular shared facilities and design.

The council approved a £600,000 scheme in 2020 to transform the building.

However, The Clacton and Frinton Gazette discovered last year that a report stated “significantly more” funds were needed due to inflation across the construction industry.

It also detailed how the council has already had to spend an additional £150,000 on urgent works to remove asbestos from the site.

Now, work has finally begun and the project is expected to be finalised next year.