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Residents of Jaywick on the Essex coast were evacuated on January 13th due to severe weather.

Police officers began evacuating residents early in the morning before taking them a rest centre further inland.

Rain and strong winds prompted the decision, which, said Essex Police, was "not... taken lightly... and has been made in the best interests of all residents to ensure their safety until the severe weather passes."

History of Jaywick

Jaywick was built in the 1930s on marshlands and salt flats considered unsuitable for agriculture, and has always been at high risk of flooding. Originally intended as holiday homes for Londoners, Jaywick properties were occupied after the war due to a severe lack of housing, itself caused by the prolonged aerial bombing of British cities over the course of the conflict.

Unintended use

Entrepreneur Frank Stedman dreamt up the idea for a low-cost holiday home location for people living in the capital, and the designs of the houses reflect this: they were never meant to be occupied all year round.

While the original planners did not foresee the way the buildings would be used, the various Jaywick estates serve as a reminder of the importance of comprehensive planning in the realm of housing.

Flood risk

Aside from the fact that the houses are, by modern standards, unsuitable for use as residential properties, they were built on an area of land at high risk of flooding.

Here at Iceni Homes the notion of building high quality housing for people is at the very heart of everything we do – which is why some of the issues surrounding Jaywick resonate. Few would deny that well-designed, high quality housing is fundamental to the flourishing of safe, prosperous communities. The needs and challenges facing a new community over future decades must be closely examined, including, of course, how weather may impact residents and their properties.

How Iceni Homes works

In order to achieve excellence in home building, our projects rely on close collaboration between our three housing associations: Colne Housing in Colchester, Suffolk Housing in Bury St. Edmunds and Hundred Houses in Cambridge.

Iceni Homes offers a comprehensive house-building service – the only one of its kind in the UK. Planning, design and construction are all handled by our single organisation. This engenders efficiency, reduces costs, and ensures that all stakeholders directly influence the project, in order to build the very best homes possible.

Learn more about our high quality housing services.