PLANS for tower blocks up to 23 storeys high on the former Marks and Spencer building in Basildon town centre have been rejected.

The plans, consisting of 495 flats in Town Square, were turned down at a council meeting on Tuesday evening.

The M&S plans include one and two bedroom flats, alongside a new cafe.

Developers Basildon Estates have lodged an appeal against Basildon Council’s proposed decision due to “non-determination”.

Plans were initially submitted in October 2020.

Councillor Andrew Schrader, who sits on the planning committee at Basildon Council, said: “I voted against the proposals, which were ultimately rejected.

“The lack of affordable housing continues to annoy me.

“It’s simply too high.

“It’s completely out of kilter with our ambitions for the town centre.

“The application leaves too many questions unanswered.”