PLANS to regenerate Pitsea are one step closer.

It comes as a public consultation was launched for proposals that would see tired facilities replaced with modern fit-for-purpose buildings and new homes.

Basildon Council is seeking to build on the success of the major development project undertaken by London and Cambridge Properties, which saw new retail units built in Pitsea town centre along with improvements to the public realm, increased car parking and a new, relocated market.

At the Cabinet meeting, members agreed the principle of the scheme’s design and a timescale for action which aims to see work start on site in January 2018.

The new project will focus on land currently occupied by The Place leisure centre, Pitsea Library and Pitsea Area Housing Office.

The Place is currently under-used by the local community and would require an unsustainable level of investment to make it fit for purpose.

Proposals have been drawn up to provide a high-quality and flexible community space in its place, with leisure facilities being expanded at Eversley Leisure Centre.

The revamped site would also include a new Pitsea Library, subject to successful negotiations with Essex County Council, which runs the library.

Stuart Sullivan, cabinet member for resources, said: “In recent years, Pitsea has undergone a significant transformation to become a modern and thriving town centre.

“These new proposals will build on that success, replacing under-used buildings with modern facilities catering to residents’ needs.

“As a council, we are determined to spearhead major schemes such as this across the borough.

“By agreeing a timetable for action, we are demonstrating we mean business when it comes to investing in our town centres.”

In addition to the community and library space, the scheme proposes around 42 new homes, split across The Place site and the former Pitsea Area Housing Office site.

The timetable agreed by Cabinet last night will see a public consultation launched in the next few months, with a view to a formal planning application being submitted later this year.

If the application is approved and the council approves contractors for the project, it is envisaged building work could start in January 2018, to be completed by January 2020.

Basildon Council is also continuing discussions with NHS partners regarding any opportunities to re-provide the Dipple Medical Centre.