Empty offices in Basildon could be turned into an 11-storey block of flats if the latest redevelopment plans for a town centre are approved.
Eastgate Business Centre, currently five storeys tall, could be redeveloped to accommodate 86 one and two bedroom flats, according to plans submitted to Basildon Borough Council.
The proposals by Eastgate ACA Ltd are seeking to reuse the vacant second, third and fourth floors, which are described as “underutilised” in a design and access statement.
However, the ground and first floors, which contain shops and a 24-hour PureGym, are not owned by the applicant and are not part of the plans, the statement continues.
A section reads: “The Eastgate Business Centre is an underutilised site that presents a fantastic opportunity to deliver much needed new homes in Basildon”.
A later section reads: “Overall this project will positively contribute to the regeneration of Basildon Town Centre and provide much needed new homes in the town centre.”
The applicants are seeking change of use consent from the council for the existing building, as well as permission to build the extra storeys, and for a new façade, landscaping and minor external changes.
The site is located in Southernhay at the eastern entrance to the Eastgate Shopping Centre, which is itself subject to redevelopment plans for 2,800 flats.
A public inquiry is currently being held, after developers InfraRed appealed to the planning inspectorate on the grounds of non-determination.
Basildon Council lost two further appeals at the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022, resulting in the approval of plans for 495 homes in Town Square and 492 homes in Market Square.
The council’s planning committee will likely debate and vote on whether to give permission for the new application by Eastgate ACA at a later stage.