Work has started on a development of 168 new homes on a former water works site near Basildon.

Bellway has completed demolition of the old buildings on the Vange Water Works site in Fobbing and construction of the new homes is moving forward.

The vast majority of houses and apartment blocks at the development, to be known as Maple Creek, will have solar PV panels installed on the roof, generating 20 per cent of the energy required by residents from solar power.

Emma Hamlett, sales director for Bellway Thames Gateway, said: “At Maple Creek we are transforming this former industrial land into a sustainable new community.

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“We already have a long waiting list of people who are eagerly waiting for these homes to be released for sale. The location and mix of homes appeal to a wide range of buyers and the sustainable profile of these homes is driving high demand.

“With energy costs rising, people are focusing on the efficiency of their homes. Having the opportunity to generate 20 per cent of your electricity requirements through solar power is a particularly compelling proposition, both for financial reasons and in the interests of the environment.”

The development will also include landscaped open spaces and areas enhanced to attract and retain wildlife.

Trees will be planted around the development and an existing pond will be retained.

Maple Creek will include one and two-bedroom apartments and two, three and four-bedroom houses.

Bellway will provide 35 per cent of the homes as "affordable" properties, to be made available to residents through shared ownership or low-cost rent.

The first homes will be released for sale in the autumn.