EXCITING new plans are taking shape to transform Lakeside into a town.

The proposals include 2,500 new homes and a school. Plus an outdoor swimming complex which sounds like a winner.

And the idea is for Lakeside Shopping Centre to become the town’s centre-piece.

It’s worth noting work is about to get serious where the new Nickelodeon fun park is concerned at Lakeside too.

This expected world class £95million development, complete with interactive meet and greet experiences with Spongebob and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, is fitting for any town centre.

This dovetails perfectly with the grandiose vision for Lakeside.

However, a severe casualty amid the development is seemingly Arena Essex Raceway whose bosses have sadly announced they will close the venue which has been a fixture in Thurrock for the past 40 years. Although not confirmed, it would seem inevitable their land will be swallowed up within the proposed development.

So, now we await more detail. For the development to come together surely one proposed school is not enough. That needs to be addressed. And more details and specifics about infrastructure and the impact on the environment are needed too. Also will the stations be able to cope with expected increase in commuter numbers? These questions, and more, need to be answered before Thurrock can welcome the birth of a new town.