A DEVELOPER’S bid to demolish two empty warehouses in Southend and replace them with 18 new flats have been thrown out at appeal.

The application proposed to raze the empty warehouses, in Redstock Road, to the ground and build a block of flats in its place.

Southend Council previously rejected the plans over concerns around the impact on infrastructure and health care services in the area.

The applicant, named only as Mr and Mrs C Morris, lodged an appeal with the Government’s planning inspectorate. However, this was rejected over concerns the plan would create “unacceptable living conditions”.

Ian Gilbert, Labour councillor responsible for the Victoria ward, said: “I am pleased that the planning inspector has backed the judgement of the council on this.

“We don’t want derelict buildings, but we have to make sure every development is proportional and doesn’t cause unacceptable problems.

“So, I am glad it has been refused. I hope new plans to do something more appropriate now come forward.”

It is believed the site has not been used since 2011.

Concerns were also raised at appeal around the impact on the area’s character and appearance, as well as the adequacy of provision for affordable housing and local infrastructure.

The planning inspector stated: “At my site visit, I observed that the existing buildings are in very poor condition with significant damage to walls, ceilings, and floors.

“There is limited evidence before me that the buildings are structurally sound and capable of refurbishment.

“The proposal would make a modest contribution of 18 additional dwellings to the supply of housing, making better use of previously developed land in a location close to services and public transport.

“It would contribute towards Southend housing supply, making a modest difference to addressing the shortfall.

“In contrast, the proposal would harm the character and appearance of the area, would provide unacceptable living conditions for future occupiers and has failed to demonstrate that the proposal could not make provision for affordable housing.”