Five key sites have been granted planning permission in Epping Town Centre despite concerns from one councillor who believes it marks "virtually the last nail in the coffin". 

Planning permission was granted for the sites in the council’s Development Committee Meeting on Wednesday, October 27. 

The plans include a new £25m leisure centre, a new multi-storey car park, commercial units and 269 high quality new homes. 

Construction costs for all five sites are expected to be approaching £100m. 

The new leisure centre on the Bakers Lane car park site will provide a six-lane swimming pool, fitness suite, gym, studios, sports hall and two squash courts. 

The new Cottis Lane car park site will provide a multi-storey car park of 330 spaces and have 50 spaces for electric vehicle charging points. 

The former school site on St John’s Road site will see184 new homes, including 46 affordable homes whilst refurbishing the locally listed Centrepoint building and Cookery school. 

The site of the vacant Conder Building behind the Councils Civic Offices will transform an underutilised car park into 45 new homes.  

The existing leisure centre site at Hemnall Street will be redeveloped into 40 new homes once the new Bakers Lane leisure centre has been opened. 

Loughton Residents Association Councillor Chris Pond said: "I sense, tonight marks a really radical shift in Epping and how Epping is overseen in overall terms as part of the district. 

"In my mind it's virtually the last nail in the coffin of Epping as a small market town and transform it into a much larger town.” 

There was investment with five detailed planning applications with supporting information to ensure that all the associated environmental factors were properly assessed.