A HISTORY buff has launched a campaign to save a “£4m” mural... which is attached to Basildon bus station.

Historian Vin Harrop said the tiled mural at Basildon Bus Station, Blenheim House, is made of expensive tiles at a likely cost of £25 per tile.

He said very similar tiles made by the renowned Carters of Poole appeared on TV show Antiques Road Show, when the cost of these precious tiles was revealed.

The 160,000-piece mosaic, on the side of Blenheim House, at the Basildon bus terminus, shows a timeline of the town and was made in the Sixties.

The “discovery” comes as Basildon Council boss Gavin Callaghan revealed plans to demolish the site in order to build a transport ‘hub’ which would be home to both the train and station and the bus station.

Mr Harrop said: “The council does not estimate the true value of the works of art.

“The bus station is due to be demolished under present regeneration plans.

“There are parts of the town centre that are certainly worth keeping, not only for sentimental reasons but because it is part of our extensive public art collection and our heritage.

“If each of the 160,000 were to sell for just £25 each, that would net the council £4m.

“If they were to be sold in complete distinct panels, they could be worth much more than £4m - an eye-watering sum for any undeveloped building in the new town.”

Ken Porter, 75, chairman of Basildon Heritage, said it would be very disappointing if the mural was removed.

He said: “We have lost so much of our history and heritage of Basildon and if this goes, it’ll just be something else we’ve lost.

“Anyone who has lived here for a while will know the mural and will be very sad to see it go. I don’t know where else it would be put but it must be placed somewhere else on display.

“Our aim is to try and keep as much heritage of Basildon as we can, so much has sadly gone.

“I know there has been feeling that it is quite valuable.

“I think it would be a disaster if it’s moved and not replaced any where.”

Kerry Smith, deputy leader of Basildon Council, said the mural has become one of the biggest landmarks in the town.

He also raised serious concerns about the loss of it.

The independent said: “I think the cost is far greater in terms of what it means to the public.

“Not many towns have one and most people would say it’s our landmark in Basildon.

“I have concerns that someone silly will remove it and replace it with aluminium. I think it should stay there indefinitely.

“The county council is looking to change the one way system around there to only allow buses and taxis.”

It has been under possible threat in the past.

In December 2010, worries circulated as plans for a Basildon Masterplan did not disclose if the work was going to remain as part of the town centre.

Both Essex County Council and Basildon Council denied ownership of the mural.