PLANS have been submitted to demolish an empty supermarket and build a three-storey block of flats in its place.

The Co-op, in Eastwood Road, Rayleigh, could make way for flats and new shops.

Paul Seager, director of APS Designs submitted the plans.

He said: “The old Co-op ceased trading some time ago. The building itself is an unattractive aspect of Rayleigh Road and when it came up for sale our clients realised that the site had potential for a prestige development.

“To this end we were instructed to prepare a mixed-use scheme comprising of two retail units and nine apartments with a mix of one and two bed units.”

Mr Seager added: “We did an attractive contemporary development which would also provide parking and amenity areas, including balconies and terraces. We believe this will be an exciting addition to the street scene and will go some way to promote the regeneration of Rayleigh Road.”

Paul Collins, Lib Dem councillor for Eastwood Park, ward welcomed the proposal.

He said: “The Co-op moved out about six years ago and it became a McColls but that has been closed for two years.

“The owners of the site put in an application and I sent a note to some neighbours who hadn’t been notified by the council.

“Some neighbours behind the building are concerned about the height of it and I’ve asked for that to be addressed by the planning committee.

“I’m pleased to see two small retail units rather than one big one and the application is welcome but we need to ensure it appropriate in size and outlook.”

The firm held pre-application meetings with Southend Council planners to iron out potential issues, including overlooking, sound and transport problems, ans the type of shop frontage.

These were all resolved prior to submission of the application.

APS said: “The contemporary appearance of the proposed development has been thoughtfully designed in relation to its prominent location, whilst aimed to compliment its immediate surroundings and local context.

“The style is imaginative and robust.”