A SECOND planning application has been submitted to demolish Benfleet’s former police station to make way for 13 new flats.

Southend-based Jeffries Solicitors has applied to Castle Point Council to carry out the works to the High Road site.

The building closed as a police station in 2012 as part of a controversial Essex Police cost-cutting measure to save £41 million.

At the time, unhappy residents were left concerned that the closure would lead to an increase of crime in the town.

Initial plans to resurrect the site, submitted last December, were rejected in February.

Councillors decided the flats would have been out of keeping with neighbouring buildings, and were also concerned by the the lack of outdoor space in the form of balconies or a communal garden for residents.

In this new application, each flat in the three-storey building would have its own balcony or private garden, while a communal amenity space has also been included.

Two roof terraces also form part of the plans. In addition, the height of the proposed building is slightly less than the former station at 8.20m.

In the design and access statement submitted to the council, London-based A9 Architects state that the existing building “does not represent any particular architectural merit”.

Should the proposal be accepted, the new building would comprise four flats on the ground floor, six on the first storey and three on the top level.

Thirteen parking spaces have been included in the plans, with provision for four disabled spaces, as well as recycling bins and bicycle storage.

Ward councillor, Norman Smith, said: “I’m happy to see development on the site but it has to be the right development in the right place.

“It needs to be the right height, the right mass and have sufficient parking.

“If the new application is appropriate then I’m happy to see it go ahead.”

A decision from Castle Point Council is expected by September.