A BLOCK of flats could be demolished as it would be cheaper to flatten the building rather than repair it.

The four storey building on High Barrets could make way for more homes after subsidence issues have become “absolutely terrible” in recent weeks.

It is believed 18 flats would be lost, with residents needing to be rehomed by Basildon Council.

The cost to repair the subsidence, or demolish the building, is not known.

Councillors are set to discuss the demolition plans at a meeting later today.

A senior figure at Basildon Council revealed the plans to the Echo, and said the demolition is a “cost saving exercise.”

The council source also said more flats would likely replace the current block, and would be “hopefully focused on reducing the council’s housing waiting list.”

Aidan McGurran, councillor for the Vange ward, said: “It’s so expensive to put right and there’s no guarantees it would be perfect after that.

“The council has done several structural surveys in the past two years. The subsidence is pretty bad.

“There’s two or three residents in there who have bought their flats outright. They will be receiving compensation if it’s demolished.

“The council will have to find suitable accommodation. The residents’ preferences need to be listened to.

“My main concern is that the residents are communicated to properly.”

A spokesman from Basildon Council, said: “We do everything we can to make sure our residents have appropriate housing and the decision to demolish housing is a complex process, which we undertake only after extensive consideration.

“If a decision is made to demolish any council property, the council are responsible for making provision for alternative housing for residents affected by that decision.

“We would individually contact any residents affected and make sure they are fully supported throughout this. For secure tenants this would mean finding suitable alternative social housing, and for leaseholders this would mean purchasing back their property.”

Swan Housing denied having residents inside the flats.