A UNIQUE bid to restore "ground-breaking" and historic concrete cottages is hoped to get a step closer.

Woodfield Cottages, in Heybridge, were built in 1873 as homes for employees of Bentall's Agricultural Works.

The 41 single-storey cottages are a pioneering example of mass concrete construction.

Maldon District Council says the buildings were grade II listed in 1971, but several have been altered in ways which detract from their traditional character and some are in a poor state of repair.

Historic England considered de-listing the cottages in 2019 but concluded the buildings remain of "national architectural and historic interest" despite their alterations over the years.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: One of the Woodfield Cottages todayOne of the Woodfield Cottages today

Historic England regional director Tony Calladine said: “Woodfield Cottages represent an important part of our social history showing how generations of workers experienced life in this small community.

"The cottages, built using innovative techniques and with the wellbeing of workers in mind, represent an important moment in our industrial heritage."

Read more: Unique bid to save historic Heybridge concrete cottages

The district council launched a public consultation earlier this year in a bid to improve the appearance of Woodfield Cottages.

Its first step is to turn the cottages into a conservation area which would pave the way for Historic England grants so owners can carry out work to enhance the historic area

This is set to be voted on by district councillors on Maldon's strategy and resources committee on Thursday, January 6.

Council officers have also recommended adopting a listed building order which would grant automatic consent for selected “enhancement opportunities” on the homes.