SCALED-back plans to build new flats on the site of a former bar and restaurant are set to get the green light.

Reid’s Bar and Grill, in Laindon Road, Billericay, has been closed for almost three years after a devastating fire ripped through the roof of the building.

Since the blaze, a series of applications have been submitted to Basildon Councillor to transform the once popular venue into new flats close to Billericay High Street.

After plans for 35 flats were rejected, developers Brodie Group and Daniel James Developments have worked to scale back the plans and now a proposal for 32 homes is set to get the green light.

Billericay West councillor, Phil Turner, raised concerns that the flats would be sold “at a premium” due to their prime location near the High Street.

He said: “Billericay residents are prepared for the development and expecting new flats, they are just grateful it is not on green belt land.

“This site will provide much-needed homes for the community.

“Because of the close access to the High Street however, these homes will not be sustainable or affordable, and they will be priced at a premium.

“It could help people downsize and all in all, I would begrudgingly accept that people will be happy that it is not a bulky and intrusive site.

“When people talk affordability in Billericay, it comes at a price and they can put in social housing, but that will eventually be sought after and sold at a premium price.”

Before becoming Reid’s Bar and Grill, it was known as Quilters and then the Ivory Rooms and a venue had operated from the site for more than 30 years.

The devastating blaze in 2021 left the building structurally intact, but the roof destroyed and it has remained closed ever since.

Mr Turner added that he is expecting the plans to be approved when Basildon Council’s planning committee meet next Wednesday.

Initial plans, by the Brodie Group and Daniel James Developments, were first submitted in 2022.

Objections to the site from residents focused on claims that the site is overdeveloped, the site will be detrimental to the character of the town and there will be issues with parking and highway safety.

The developer has agreed a £29,823 contribution to attempt to improve walking and cycling routes in the vicinity of the development to address these issues.