It is ten years ago since plans to demolish a nightclub "bringing in all of the riff raff of Essex" were given a positive reception.

Plans to demolish a luminous pink nightclub that residents claim is an eyesore in the centre of a historic market town have been welcomed.

When Billie Jeans ‘80s-themed nightclub opened in Epping High Street in 2010 there was astonishment when the owner painted the walls shocking pink and electric blue, with residents saying that the building resembled a Turkish brothel.

Now Kiko Ventures Ltd, the owners of the plot of land that Billie Jeans is on, have submitted an application to Epping Forest District Council to demolish the club and replace it with flats and retail and food and drink premises on the ground floor.

Despite being responsible for leasing the site to the proprietor of Billie Jeans, Gary Smith, in their application Kiko Ventures state that the club has become a hub for anti-social behaviour and that the redevelopment would greatly enhance the town centre.

Hugh Farish, 66, lives in Beech Place near the site of the club.

He said: “This new building can’t be any worse than what we have now.

“I would prefer to have it back as a proper pub, like the Half Moon, but I am not opposed to this new building if it has a nice character.

“It is not just that it is an eyesore, it is all of the noise. You can hear all of the shouting coming from there till 4am.

“As it stands the club is bringing in all of the riff raff of Essex.”

Charles Geddes, committee member for the Epping Society, said: “The new development does look rather large relative to the surrounding buildings.

“Billie Jeans presence is not very good for the area, so you could see it as an improvement.”

Gary Smith, who runs Billie Jeans, said he had been assured by his landlords that were no plans to close Billie Jeans in the immediate future.

He said: “Transforming the site is something they have said they would be interested in doing in the future.

“They want to have the plans in place. We have four years left on our contract and should we wish to renew it we do not believe that it would be a problem.”