PLANS to demolish a former police station and build a three-storey block of flats have been rejected after it was deemed the proposal was out of keeping with the area.

Developers had hoped to demolish Benfleet police station, at 92 High Road, and build a modern three-storey block of flats consisting of 13 flats.

It was announced that the station would shut amidst a host of closures in 2012, much to the disgust of residents who feared the closure would lead to a rise in crime in the area.

The building has remained unused since it closed.

The proposal would have seen the building demolished and a new block of flats built in its place.

Castle Point Council rejected the application, stating it would have been out of keeping with the rest of High Road, would overlook neighbouring properties, concerns of surface water sewage, and a lack of sufficient outdoor space in the form of balconies or a communal garden for some of the flats.

The council stated it was not opposed to flats being built on the site, but a more complete proposal would be needed.

The council officer’s recommendation read: “The proposed building, due to its bulk and mass, would appear out of keeping with the neighbouring form of residential development.

“It would lack adequate setting and space around it, and due to the staggered building line in this location would appear unduly prominent in views from the north, to the detriment of the street scene,”

The flats would consists of two two-bedroom, and two one-bedroom flats on the ground floor, five two-bedroom flats, and one one-bedroom on the first floor.

The second floor would comprise of two two-bedroom flats, with large roof terraces, and one one-bedroom flat.

Several other police stations which closed at the same time could be facing the same fate, with Wickford Police Station currently on the market. Essex Police announced the plans to sell the stations, including the one in Benfleet, as part of the force’s need to save £41million.