More than 8,400 applications for homes have been made to Thurrock Council in the past three years, figures reveal.

A Freedom of Information request made by the Thurrock Gazette shows that 8,405 council house applications were made to Thurrock Council between the beginning of 2015 and the end of 2017.

This is around six times the amount made to neighbouring boroughs Castle Point and Rochford.

Castle Point and Rochford, which are both more than half the size of Thurrock, had 1,383 and 1,446 applications, respectively, during the same time frame.

But Thurrock Council rejected the notion of making comparisons between the local authorities.

A spokesman for Thurrock Council said: “The situation in Thurrock cannot be directly compared to either Rochford or Castle Point, they are much smaller with far higher owner occupation and much lower levels of social housing need.

“Rochford has a population of 85,000 with just 9% in social housing and Castle Point a population of 89,000 and only 5% social housing.

“On the other hand Thurrock has a population of 165,000 and 18% of households live in social housing.

“Last year, 800 people were re-housed in Thurrock. There is a need for more affordable housing as the population of the borough increases.

“We are tackling this through our work with both public and private developers to remove the obstacles to development, and through our own regeneration vehicle, Thurrock Regeneration Ltd.”

Our sister paper, the Echo, on Tuesday reported of how Basildon Council admitted it was struggling to meet the demand for social housing, with 15,110 applications being made and roughly a third of them being rejected.

Although Basildon Council was able to provide the number of housing applications that were rejected, Thurrock Council was not.

In their response, they wrote: “Information not held - people mainly remain on the register for longer than 12 months so an application will not be ‘successful’ or ‘unsuccessful’ per se during a given period.”

Although, Thurrock Council did pass a motion at the Budget meeting last week, outlining their plan to build 1,000 homes in the borough over the next five years.

They have been clear that they want 35 per cent of these to be ‘affordable’, but not how many they want to be council owned.