New plans to transform a former college in Clacton have been put forward after retirement home plans were refused. 

Stone Crest Homes have submitted plans to build 76 flats on the former Colchester Institute campus in Church Road to Tendring Council

The campus was closed at the end of March 2020 after student numbers were falling and the institution said to focus on its Colchester and Braintree campuses. 

Since then, the site has been vacant and subject to vandalism and antisocial behaviour in the area, with repeated incidents, leading to Tendring Council issuing enforcement action notices for the building to be boarded up. 

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Vandalised - the former Colchester Institute Clacton campus in Church Road, Clacton

Plans to build 61 apartments for retirees over the age of 60 by Churchill Retirement Living Limited and Stone Crest Homes were refused on appeal as Government inspectors raised doubts about a negative effect on the appearance of the Clacton Seafront Conservation Area. 

A document accompanying the application states: “At present, despite the best efforts of the owners, the site is a focus for antisocial behaviour and both the owners and the local authority are keen to establish a viable strategy for redevelopment which will not only remove the continual threat of public nuisance but will also provide high-quality residential accommodation in an established residential area.” 

The latest blueprints suggest the demolition of the existing auditorium building and a conversion and extension of the existing classroom building. 

A total of 40 one-bedroom flats for one occupant, 16 one-bedroom flats for two occupants, 15 two-bed flats for three occupants and five two-bed flats for four occupants. 

The report added: “The first phase of development will comprise the conversion and extension of the existing classroom and administration block.  

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

“This phase, upon completion, is intended to be functionally autonomous both in terms of site layout and internal arrangement. 

“Both the roof to the Fourth Floor and the roof to the Fifth Floor are to accommodate both a green roof and a PV array.” 

The 0.25 hectares-large site would also feature 42 car parking spaces and 80 cycle spaces for its residents. 

Planning bosses at Tendring Council will have the final say.