Councillors gave the green light to proposals to convert a former hospital into an exciting new community facility together with nearly 60 new family homes at a cabinet meeting last night.

The redevelopment of Grays Court Hospital in John Parker Close, Dagenham, will deliver a vibrant new community hub, providing a range of services and activities for local residents, including the continuation of out of hours GP services.

And, 59 new homes will be built for local families who are on the housing waiting list and currently living in temporary accommodation.

Councillor Cameron Geddes, cabinet member for regeneration and social housing, said: “By giving the go-ahead to these proposals we’re providing new homes for local families which will give them the space to live in, and at the same time a fantastic community facility, which includes out of hours GP services for local people.

“It also means we can keep local families in the borough and spend less on expensive bed and breakfast accommodation, which will mean we can reinvest the savings into other front line services for local people. It’s a great deal all round for the borough and the community.”

The proposed community hub will provide a range of services including:

• a Community Food Club
• cooking school and meal sharing offer
• an education and training offer
• a family learning offer
• careers fairs and job clubs, and
• the continuation of the out of hours GP service

The proposals are subject to planning permission. The planning application and refurbishment works will be managed by Be First on behalf of the council, while the new homes and community facilities will be operated and managed on-site by the council’s Community Solutions team.

Ed Skeates, Director of Development said: “Be First is not only about building thousands of affordable homes for local people but also building communities too.”