A NEW retirement complex will be built in Witham after council bosses have the green light.

Churchill Retirement Living has been granted full planning permission to build 58 flats on the site of the former Bramston Sports Centre off Bridge Street.

Braintree Council's planning committee unanimously approved the scheme during a meeting last week on the condition the Environment Agency does not object to a flood prevention plan put forward by the developer.

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Churchill had similar plans for 60 flats on the site rejected in June 2017 following concerns about a lack of affordable housing and poor designs.

But the revised scheme received strong support among councillors, with Iona Parker stating the designs were "vastly improved".

Witham West councillor Patrick Horner added: "I think it will be a successful development.

"It's close to the town, a quiet area and will be sort after."

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Churchill say the self-contained apartments will all be privately owned and have communal access to a lounge area and landscaped gardens.

A 24-hour emergency alarm system will be available to all residents.

A guest suite will also be created for visiting families and friends looking to stay at the complex overnight.

Speaking after last week's meeting, Churchill's managing director Stuart Goodwill said: "I’d like to thank everyone who has helped towards achieving this very positive result.

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"There is a compelling overall housing need in Witham and the surrounding area, especially for older people, and our site is in a highly sustainable and accessible location for a new development of this kind, so we believe this decision is good news for the town.

"We worked positively and proactively with the council to deliver a design and proposal that will positively regenerate this highly sustainable underused site, compliment the Conservation Area and make a positive contribution to the wider area.

"Allowing older people to downsize will also help free up more homes for families and younger people in the local area."

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