Developer, Orwell Real Estate, has submitted plans for a substantial £140m build-to-rent, mixed use redevelopment at Basildon’s Market Square, in Basildon Town Centre.

The development will form a key part of the wider regeneration of the town centre, which has been set out in Basildon Council’s ambitious Draft Town Centre Masterplan.

Designed by SWAP Architects, proposals for the mixed-use scheme comprise 492 flats and around 2,300 sq m of flexible commercial space. This space has provisions for shops, restaurants, a healthcare facility, workspace for SMEs and start-ups that are emerging from South Essex College’s neighbouring Digitial Campus, which is under construction.

The 1.8-acre town centre site is currently occupied by a 1960s four storey building with a Wetherspoon’s pub among other retailers and offices. The site is located only 140m north of Basildon train station. Consisting of 492 units, there shall be a mix of 1- and 2-bedroom apartments to rent. All of which shall be professionally managed and have access to large areas of public space and co-working provisions.

The council’s ambition to deliver around 4,000 homes in Basildon Town Centre shall be greatly helped by this scheme, as it bids to meet local demand and regenerate the town centre’s retail and leisure offer and the ‘evening economy’.

Orwell Real Estate say that Basildon’s strong demographics highlight a very strong demand for BTR, due to its proximity to London, strong local workforce and affordable rents. The town is Essex’s largest economy, with a workforce of around 90,000 and over 7,300 businesses.

Submission of this application follows a series of online pre-application engagements with the local community. From this process, Orwell said that 90% of the participants claimed that Basildon Town Centre needed improvement and the site at Market Square needs redevelopment.

A spokesperson for Orwell Real Estate, said: “Following a successful period of public consultation, we are delighted to have submitted a planning application for the redevelopment of Market Square in Basildon Town Centre.

“The proposals for this key ‘gateway’ site offer an invaluable opportunity to transform this part of the Town Centre into a more welcoming and vibrant area, creating a community which people will be eager to visit, live and work in.

The scheme will represent the first large scale, purpose built BTR scheme in the town and we are looking forward to continuing to work closely with the Council and the local community as the application and development progresses.”

Cap Real Estate is advising Orwell Real Estate on the project.

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