A FORMER college campus in Clacton could be bulldozed to make way for a block of 61 retirement flats.

Churchill Retirement Living has applied to Tendring Council to demolish the former Colchester Institute college building in Church Road and replace it with retirement living accommodation for people aged 60 and over.

Colchester Institute “reluctantly” decided to close its facility in Clacton in 2020 due to a year-on-year reduction in students applying for full-time places on courses and an ever-dwindling budget.

Plans for the site now show there would one four-storey block comprising of 44 one-bedroom and 17 two-bedroom sheltered housing apartments.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Plans - how the block could look

There will also be communal facilities, car parking and landscaping at the 0.6-acre site.

A report by the developer said: "The proposal removes a negative building in the conservation area and replaces it with a high quality building that will enhance and make a positive contribution.

"The design team have carried out extensive site analysis and research to understand the character and identity of the current site.

"The result is an attractive, bespoke development of retirement apartments through a building design which respects and enhances the character of the immediate vicinity and wider areas.

"The removal of the existing former Colchester Institute building within the site presents the opportunity for regeneration and to introduce a building which will have a positive benefit to the Clacton conservation area."

A public consultation held by the developer in September found residents were concerned about the general design of the building, the possible obstruction of views, concerns about overlooking and increases in traffic and problems with parking.

Karen Brooker, of Thoroughgood Road, lives in a house directly opposite the proposed site and has objected to the plans.

She said: "The properties on the end will directly overlook our property and grossly invade our privacy.

"The end properties will look directly into both of our bedrooms, lounge, kitchen and our garden which is a huge concern, while also blocking out our light, taking away our sea view and devaluing our property."

A decision is expected to be made by Tendring Council by March 16.