A FORMER electronics shop has been gutted as its new owners hope to turn it into a block of flats.

The Waters and Stanton shop in Main Road, Rochford could be turned into 11 flats by Marchi Developments Ltd after a planning application was submitted to Rochford Council.

The application could prove controversial due to a complicated planning history.

The developers applied for permission for ten homes with 15 car parking spaces in 2013.

The application was rejected but the developers were successful on appeal.

Now the owners want 11 flats and 11 parking spaces.

Alan James, a member of the Hockley and Hawkwell Residents Associations, said: “This development will lead to a loss of shops and office facilities in Hockley.

“This will set a precedent for four storey buildings.

“There is an issue with access through the parking area to the existing industrial unit at the rear of the site.

“It appears there is a lift included but I see no confirmation of one.”

The application claims it is a “rundown” site

A spokesman said: “We feel the scheme is an improvement on the previously approved application.

“Therefore, we hope that the latest proposed redevelopment of this site will be looked at favourably.”

The flats will replace a specialist amateur radio and electronics shop.

Waters and Stanton began in 1973 as a partnership between Peter Waters and Jeff Stanton.

Both had worked in London in the insurance industry and they decided to pool their interests in amateur radio and Hi-Fi and start up Waters & Stanton Electronics.

The company states: “For nearly 45 years, we were located in Hockley, Essex.

“Following the acquisition of the Hockley premises for development in 2017, our business was transferred to Farlington, near Portsmouth.

“Today Waters and Stanton Ltd have an international presence, both importing and exporting goods worldwide.”

A decision will be made by Rochford Council later this year.