The 5 Links Estate was developed by the Basildon Development Corporation in the late 1960s/early 1970s.
The estate was transferred by their successors the Commission for New Towns (now English Partnerships) to Basildon Council in 1994.
The estate featured homes built around 195 pedestrian courtyards and with a central green in the middle. Most of the properties were family houses with back gardens and all flats had balconies. The estate was pedestrianism with flats situated on the outside of the estate above garages and adjacent to car parking.
When completed, 5 Links housed approximately 4000 residents. The estate currently consists of approximately 1400 homes in a mix of houses, maisonettes, flats and three shop units. Over the years there have been problems on the estate due to structural defects, poor layout and high levels of crime and unemployment.
In 1996 the first phase of the redevelopment commenced. This scheme completed in the summer of 1999, which resulted in big improvements in peoples' perception of the estate. Crime for the area dropped and tenant satisfaction rose considerably.
The wider regeneration of the estate is being co-ordinated through the 5 Links Constructing Communities Partnership led by Basildon Council. It has 18 partners ranging from voluntary groups to statutory agencies and the private sector.
The Partnerships aims include improving housing quality, raising educational attainment, training and help for young people, reducing crime and the general enhancement of quality of life for residents. This covers a range of community development activities such as life skills training, the creation of a credit union and community chest, a mother and toddler group and neighbourhood watch.
The second phase will concentrate on continuing regeneration on the estate, with the selective demolition of 163 houses and flats and the new build development of 172 social housing units for rent and 67 units for private sale.
The 5 Links Redevelopment
New access roads will connect surrounding roads to the central green and will increase accessibility into the estate. Community and emergency services will especially benefit from this opening up of the estate.
The new development will mainly provide two-storey homes of traditional layout and appearance with high-energy efficiency. The houses will be in terraces and small groups with front and rear gardens. 3 storey flats for sale will be built towards the end of the Hatterill closest to Laindon station.
The houses will have been positioned to preserve as many of the existing trees as possible. Where trees have been removed, new trees will be planted to make up for the loss.