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Residents of the Orchard Estate in Broadmead Road got the first chance to look inside the “eco-pods” which will soon be heating their homes as part of a £11million project.

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Work to connect homes to the eco-pods – one on the roof of each of the estate’s six tower blocks – and to install double glazing are due to finish in May.

The pods, housing gas condensing boilers, replace the estate’s previous electric system and are also lined with solar panels.

The joint scheme between the council and Carillion Energy Service will allow individual bills for homes rather than standardised charges per block, according to Sayeed Kadir, Redbridge Council’s head of property services.

Cllr Gwyneth Deakins, said: “I think it’s wonderful. It’s so important residents can be warm and comfortable and not have to pay the earth.”

Residents are also to get an updated CCTV system once the work is complete, said Mr Kadir.

The council says there are a number of cameras already on the estate, but Jim Brennan, 66, the community representative for the estate’s Liston Way block, said CCTV hasn’t worked there for seven years.

He said: “They were supposed to start last year and finish on December 14 and there’s been nothing done.”

A council spokesman said: “There are a number of CCTV cameras on and around the Orchard Estate.

“In the past we have released footage to the police to assist with their enquiries.

“We have worked closely with the councillors, resident groups and residents of the estate and are upgrading the current CCTV system.”

The heating improvements scheme is paid for from the government’s community energy savings programme with £1.2m match funding from the council.

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