A derelict school could finally be demolished as plans to build a new leisure centre gather pace.

A planing application by Pozzoni Architecture Limited to knock down the former Epping Junior School and Epping Hall on St John's Road has been submitted to Epping Forest District Council.

If approved, it would give the council a blank canvas to build a large development including a leisure centre, housing, a cinema and shops.

In September the district council announced its intentions to develop the site, nine years after the public was asked via a consultation what it would like to see built.

While plans are yet to be drawn up, the request to demolish and detailed proposals that will be seen by the council's committee on December 10 suggest the development will likely materialise.

Although still in its infancy, the scheme will probably see a leisure centre with a six lane 25m pool, a 15m by 20m learning pool with a movable floor, a steam room, a creche and a four court sports hall, amongst other facilities.

These would likely be built by the Places for Leisure - the council's long-term leisure partner - although no contracts have yet been signed.

Tom Carne, corporate communications manager at the council, said: "The first thing we need to do is the take the buildings down.

"It is really exciting actually. It is really going to improve that end of Epping.

"This is the first step to go forward with the development of the leisure centre.

"What the council is trying to do is deliver what people are asking for."

The proposals include the transfer of the District Council depot to its new headquarters at Oakwood Hill in Loughton, and freeing up the site of the current Epping Sports Centre for housing as set out in the draft Local Plan.

New Town Council offices would also be built into the new plans.

The council has withdrawn from previous plans to sell the area to a private developer, Frontier Estates.