A former builders merchant and warehouse could be demolished to make way for new flats and shops in Epping town centre.

Twenty one and two bedroom apartments and one commercial unit would be built in place of a former Travis Perkins in Epping High Street, if a new planning application is approved.

The current buildings between High Street and Hemnall Street have been described by planning agent Farrell Design Studio as "inappropriate", adding the proposal represents an "excellent opportunity to deliver twenty additional high quality dwellings that are in keeping with the character of the surrounding area".

Spaces for 19 cars and 22 bicycles would also be provided, if the application is given permission by the council.

Cars would access the new development through an entrance on Hemnall Street.

The statement published in Epping Forest District Council's planning portal says pre-application advice from the council established that the new scheme should be split between residential and commercial use, with commercial aspects taking priority for the High Street frontage.

A planning statement also claims the proposals have been designed to allow neighbouring Poppy’s Grill takeaway to come forward for redevelopment in the future, if the owner wishes to do so.

This property was discussed during the pre-application, with officers warning it could lead to a “piecemeal”, or inconsistent development if not included.

However, it has not been possible to purchase the site, the planning statement continues.

Epping Forest Guardian: The site pictured from Epping High Street. Credit: Google MapsThe site pictured from Epping High Street. Credit: Google Maps

The current use of the Travis Perkins site is for a mix of retail, office, storage and a builders yard, and the site contains a warehouse and large hardstanding as well as retail space.

The application will be considered by the council at a later date. The plans can be viewed on the planning portal via application number EPF/0028/22.