BASILDON’S tallest tower block which has previously been described as “uninhabitable” appears set for a major facelift.

Experts have recommended Basildon Council’s planning committee approve plans to fully refurbish Brooke House, which is based in the town centre.

Key to revamp is the installation of a new lobby area within the pillars which hold the flat block above the ground floor.

It will include a seating area and toilets, while the existing lifts will be upgraded.

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A new roof terrace also forms part of the renovation, along with general repairs and re-decoration throughout the building.

Ahead of next week’s planning committee meeting where councillors will vote on the scheme, Maryam Yaqub, leader of the Basildon Labour Party, has welcomed the latest proposals.

“I think it’s really positive seeing this coming forward and I think residents will see this as a positive step but there is still lots more work needed to the block,” the St Martin’s councillor said.

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“I think it’s a small step in the right direction.

“I think accessibility has been a key issue in the past and it will help that this will being better accessibility and I think it will benefit everyone.”

All windows on the building are set to be replaced and new insulation installed in some apartments to tackle concerns over the loss of heat during the winter.

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CCTV is also set to be upgraded, while basic repairs to the roof will be carried out to prevent leaks.

Residents living inside the building have long waited for the refurbishment, which has previously been touted as costing around £6million.

Council officers are backing the latest plans, stating they are sympathetic to the current design of the listed building, which is around 60 years old.

Their report added: “The proposed works are considered necessary to secure the building’s optimum viable use, as it is the use for which it was originally designed, and this use contributes to its significance.

“There is clear and convincing justification for the proposed development and the scheme is not considered to cause harm to the wider locality or to residents’ safety during the construction phase.”