Council homes in Harlow will receive a £320,000 makeover after plans were approved last night.

Harlow Council Cabinet voted to pay a contractor £322,425 to renovate eight blocks at Potter’s Field Estate at a cabinet meeting last night (December 2)

The works will include enhancing the fire safety of the 32 flats.

Cabinet members at the meeting said this was a major project that would aim to make council homes more safe but would also “smarten up” the area.

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Cllr Dan Swords (Con, Bush Fair), who is responsible for regeneration, said: “It’s by no means just what needs to be done in terms of fire safety, but I think it shows when we talk about delivery that we’re getting on with the job of restoring pride in estates as we promised many times over and this goes far above and beyond just the necessary things that need to be done.”

Cllr Simon Carter, who is responsible for housing, told the meeting: “So many of our estates have been like that for a long time and are in need of refurbishment.”

In a statement after the meeting, Cllr Carter said: “We are getting on with the job of improving council properties for residents and last night we approved the refurbishment works of Potters Field flat blocks. 

“This is all part of investing in making our homes better places in which to live, but also restoring pride and renewing our housing estates and making them more pleasant places for all.”

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No opposition members at the meeting spoke or raised questions on this item.

According to council documents, four other contractors were being considered for the refurbishment.

However, the council decided Contractor B, which would have cost £464,142.06, was of lower quality.

Contractors C, D and E either declined or were non-compliant.

In addition to improving fire safety, the works include replacement gutters, windows, doors, fencing and redecoration.

According to the statement, the council has an ongoing programme of fire safety works and external refurbishments to its tower blocks and flat blocks and expects more schemes will come forward in the new year.