Fresh plans to build a retirement complex next to a new supermarket have been unveiled.

Churchill Retirement Living is proposing to build 54 apartments on the site of the former Bramston Sports Centre in Bridge Street, Witham.

The site has been empty for nearly five years ever since the old leisure centre was knocked down and a new one built nearby.

German supermarket chain Lidl has been given permission to build a new store on some of the derelict land later this year and Churchill Retirement Living is now offering to complete the overhaul of the site by installing accommodation for the over 60’s.

The development would offer residents communal facilities in the form of a garden, lounge area, toilets and refuse store.

A car park offering 24 spaces would also be created while a separate visitors suite will be on offer to resident's family wishing to stay overnight at the complex.

Though each apartment would be sold privately, all 54 homes would be managed by Millstream Management which would be responsible for the upkeep of the facilities and maintain hygiene levels.

The applicant had a previous bid for 60 apartments rejected by a planning inspector last year due to concerns residents would suffer from a lack of privacy because of some of the homes close proximity to the edge of the site.

However, after holding discussions with planning officers at Braintree Council, a new application has been put forward by Churchill Retirement Living which is confident the new scheme will be given the green light.

In its planning statement, the firm adds: "The changes made to the scheme, in comparison to the previous planning application, do not have any effect on the historic environment.

"As such, the proposed development will not result in harm to the special character or appearance of the conservation area due to changes within its setting and the proposed scheme respects and responds to the local context of the setting of the conservation area.

"The development will be set far back from the street frontage of Bridge Street and the proposal will introduce landscaping features which will complement the River Walk area."

Braintree Council will now have the final say on the application.

To views the plans, head to the council's planning website and search reference number 18/02304/FUL