Redbridge Council's leader was given a tour of a newly-completed Wanstead housing development.

Cllr Jas Athwal went to Gardner Close where 20 one-bedroom apartments have been finished by Pocket Living.

Residents were all first-time buyers and had been living or working in Redbridge, the developer said.

The homes are on the site of a former disused garage and the development also has a communal courtyard garden.

Cllr Athwal and Cllr Vanisha Solanki, cabinet member for housing at the authority, were given a tour of the site last week.

The council leader said: “Here in Redbridge, we are committed to combatting the housing crisis and making sure there are affordable houses available for local people.

"Pocket Living and their architects have done an excellent job in converting what was a garage site into 20 brand-new homes here in Wanstead."

The council has opened two of its own housing schemes so far this year - the first residents moved into homes at Marlyon Road, Hainault in May.

Twenty-six council flats were also unveiled at Old Mill Court, South Woodford, in March.

Cllr Athwal said these two schemes and the one at Gardner Close were important in helping to stop people being priced out of the borough.

One of the residents, Sarah Essoof, said she was close to leaving the borough before hearing about the Pocket scheme.

She added: "Most of my friends have moved out of the city to buy their first home and many didn’t even start saving as they couldn’t see buying in London as a feasible option.

"Now I own my own home at Gardner Close, my mortgage is half what I used to pay in rent, and I’m saving more money than I have before."

The councillors were led on the tour of the site by Pocket's chief commercial officer Nick Cuff.

He said almost 400 eligible people expressed their interest in the Gardner Close homes, adding that the company was delighted to have completed the development and welcomed the residents.

"While we are so pleased to have enabled 20 Londoners with a connection to Redbridge to get their foot on the ladder, we know there is still more that needs to be done to tackle housing affordability for the next generation of buyers," he said.

"Greater acceleration in the unlocking of small sites such as Gardner Close will allow us and other SME developers to deliver more affordable homes.”