AMBITIOUS plans have been revealed for a former brickworks site in Southend to be converted into an upscale village for the over 55s.

The proposals, in Cherry Orchard Lane, could see the site developed into a village that would consist of a 90 bed nursing home, luxury apartments, and retail and commercial units, all of which could create hundreds of jobs.

The plans, by company Cherry Orchard Homes and Villages which was set up in 2004, first appeared ten years ago but were withdrawn, only to be resurrected now.

The site would sit on ten acres of land and also include a 50 to 60 child nursery for staff and residents nearby.

Keith Gordon, who is an ex-councillor and lives in Rochford, welcomed the plans.

The 61-year-old, from Cambridge Gardens, said: “I supported the plans when they came out ten years ago and I think it is a great idea.We are very lucky in Rochford, there is not much crime but it does still occur. People feel far more secure in these villages which is good for the elderly. These developments also keep people social, it keeps everyone together.”

On-site facilities will include a medical centre, pharmacy, dental surgery, wellbeing centre, health spa, bistro, coffee shop and village stores, all of which will be accessible to both village residents and the surrounding community.

There would also be a concierge, free shuttle buses, and a car club which would mean residents could borrow a car as and when they needed to.

Ivor Finer, head of marketing for the company, said: “The proposed village is designed to provide an independent lifestyle for the over 55’s in a secure environment.

“The site is ideally located for access to Rochford town centre, its country park, footpaths, cycle routes and local amenities, including Rochford Golf Club. The proposals consist of a mix of accommodation, including cottages, bungalows, and luxury one, two and three bedroomed apartments, assisted living and extra care apartments.The proposals will provide residents with the opportunity to downsize within a purpose-built, high-quality development.”

The land is currently allocated for commercial development by Rochford Council according to the Joint Area Action Plan and and lies next to the Airport Business Park.

Mr Finer added: “Although the site is allocated for commercial development we feel this proposal provides a more sustainable balance of residential living with a diverse mix of employment uses, with the additional benefit of helping to release properties in the local area.”

Leader of Rochford District Council, TerryCutmore, said: “Any planning applications for this site will be considered in line with the Southend Airport and Environs Joint Area Action Plan.”

It is expected plans will be submitted to Rochford Council next month.