ATTEMPTS to build flats and shops on the site of a former Co-Op have been refused.

Developer UC Prop 1 submitted plans for a block of nine flats and two shops at 367 – 369 Rayleigh Road in Eastwood, in September, but these were refused.

The Co-op closed six years ago and was transformed into a McColls, before the chain also left about two years ago.

Plans were submitted to Southend Council but the development committee decided the development was not appropriate.

According to Southend Council, the proposal for the flats and shops failed to demonstrate that the development could be safely located in the area, given the flood risk.

There were also concerns the development would increase the flood risk elsewhere.

Council officers also criticised the “poor design”, which would lead to “bulky development”.

The report stated: “By reason of the poor light and outlook provided to bedroom one in flats three and eight, and bedroom two in flats four and nine, the development would provide substandard living conditions for the future occupiers.

“The vehicle access into the site would result in the removal of the pedestrian crossing at the front of the site.

“This would result in harm to highway and pedestrian safety.”

Paul Collins, Lib Dem councillor for Eastwood Park ward, told the Echo that residents were pleased with the thought of having new apartments and shops to replace the supermarket and disappointed with the refusal.

He said: “It’s been left derelict for years.

“We welcomed the addition.

“We’re happy to have investment in the area, as long as they’re up to scratch.

“We all want to see something there.”

Mr Collins added that he expects the developer to come back with an improved application.

The councillor said: “The developer needs to come back with a better offer.

“The site was a little too large for the main road that it was on.

“It is pleasing to see that Southend Council are doing everything by the book.

“Residents are passionate about flooding and its risks.

“It’s good that they’ve taken it firmly into account.

“There was four points at which the application failed.

“Once they’ve been sorted out, I’m certain that the developer will submit another.” The developer did not provide a comment.