April 9th, 2015
Diamond Build in the Basildon local paper
An apprentice is helping developers with work to re-build a parade of shops destroyed by fire.
The Triangle shops, in High Road, Langdon Hills, are rising from the ashes after an electrical fault in the roof of the Hong Kong House Chinese takeaway sparked a huge blaze in January 2013, ravaging newsagent Martin McColl’s, the Elizabeth Louise Hair and Beauty Salon, the Chip Shop and a computer company.
Jed Godfrey, 19, from Rayleigh is working for Diamond Build, awarded the contract for the £1.8 million project by Basildon Council.
Roofing trusses have now gone up and the council is looking for businesses to take over the retail units, which have increased from four to six.
Jed spends most of his working week on the project, but is also studying at college as part of his construction apprenticeship.
He said “I’ve been made to feel really welcome. It’s a big project, there’s a lot to learn and i’m happy to be here. Many of my family work in the construction industry, so it feels good to be following in their footsteps.”
Robert Buckingham, site manager, said “work was progressing well, there are about 50,000 outward facing bricks on this build and about 30,000 concrete blocks, so that gives people an idea of the size and scale of the project.”
McColls has already signed up to take over one of the units, and negotiations are continuing to bring back some of the former tenants.
The rebuild will have more parking spaces and five flats.
Basildon Council leader Phil Turner said the new development would be a vast improvement.
He added, “The new Triangle shops development is a better design and a much higher quality build than the previous one. Diamond Build is doing a great job and the progress is really encouraging. When it’s finished, this project will benefit this community for generations.”