PLANS for a high rise block of 158 flats, on site derelict for more than a decade, are set to be approved.

Basildon Council is expected to give developer, Explore Living Ltd the go-ahead for the development at 3 to 31 Runwell Road, Wickford.

The plan also includes construction of a part basement, part elevated car park with a car lift and 108 car parking spaces plus 166 cycle parking spaces.

The council officers’ report states the site “makes no positive contribution to Wickford having remained hoarded for over ten years”.

It goes on: “The site can accommodate a building of height. It is clear there will be impacts on adjoining occupiers most notably the Dick Patmore Memorial Sports Ground, however, the applicant has offered a financial contribution of £100,000 to the Sports Ground to mitigate the impact on any additional overshadowing.

“It is the officer’s view the proposed development maximises the use of town centre site within an accessible urban location, it would improve the housing stock of the borough and contribute towards the council’s shortfall in its five year housing land supply, it would positively contribute towards the regeneration of Wickford too and is well located in terms of access to public transport.”

The council is set to impose a number of conditions on the plans including financial contributions of £650,000 towards affordable housing, £59,800 towards healthcare, £100,000 for the Dick Patmore Memorial Sports Ground and £70,000 towards public transport improvements.

Some residents are pleased something is at last happening on a site left to rot for years.

Neighbour Barry Harris, 37, of Runwell Road, said: “It is in such a mess it will be good to have something there.

“I think the awful look of the site does bring down the whole town centre, so I think anything that will improve the look of the area is a good thing. As long as it doesn’t cause any more traffic or road issues, I can’t see a problem with the plan and I hope the council does approve it.”