The foundations of the 30 new affordable homes on the derelict former council site in Hollymoor Lane in Epsom have begun being laid.

Having first been earmarked for development in 2010, planning permission was approved in March 2016.

Kate Chinn, Labour councillor for Court ward, which includes Hollymoor Lane, said: “It’s just been a blight on the area for so long, and finally to have it being worked on is a really good thing. The fact that they’re all going to be affordable homes is brilliant.

“Epsom and Ewell is crying out for affordable homes for people to live in and raise children in, so they can send their children to local schools and become and remain part of the community.”

Once complete, the site will contain two five-bedroom houses, four four-bedroom houses, three three-bedroom houses and 21 two-bedroom flats.

Twenty of the homes will be available for rent and ten for shared ownership (part buy, part rent), with one of the flats designed to provide full wheelchair access.

There will also be a small shop to replace Epsom Stores, to be occupied by long-serving lessees Mr and Mrs Patel.

It was originally hoped there would be a doctors’ surgery alongside the homes, but this is not the case.

The first brick at the development, being built in by a partnership between Epsom and Ewell Council and Obit, was laid by mayor Councillor Liz Frost.

She said: “This development offers new flats and houses comprising of state of the art design for accessible living, providing our residents with homes that will transform the way in which they live their lives.

“None of this would be possible without the strong partnership that we have established with Orbit. Their approach to giving the community a development to be proud of, and in managing what has been at times a very difficult project, has been exemplary.”