Construction of five development sites in Epping town centre is imminent after planning agreements were all signed off.

Last year, Epping Forest District Council granted permission for 269 homes across three residential sites.

The plans will see 184 homes built on a former school site in St John's Road, 45 on the site of the empty Condor building, and 40 on the site of the existing leisure centre in Hemnall Street.

As part of these schemes, a new £25 million leisure centre will be built in Bakers Lane while a multi-storey car park will also be constructed in Cottis Lane.

The project is being delivered by Qualis Commercial, which is part of the Qualis Group - a development company wholly owned by the council.

The residential schemes will include 67 affordable houses and electric vehicle charging for all parking spaces.

Qualis says the developments will contribute more than £3 million to local infrastructure such as healthcare and education, enhancements to green spaces and other community wide benefits.

Simon Rutter, managing director of Qualis Commercial, said: "The conclusion of our legal agreements with Epping Forest District Council planning officers means we now have the go ahead to start work on these really exciting developments.

"They will bring financial and community benefits not only to our new residents but to the wider Epping community."

Councillor John Philip, who has responsibilities for Qualis, added: "We are really beginning to see the benefits of Qualis. Only last week, Qualis and the Council were able to provide £50,000 towards the Lower Swaines playground project thanks to the section 106 money linked to these developments.

"As the Conder Building and our other projects move from the drawing board to real development, we will start to see the bigger returns on investment such as the construction of our brand new leisure centre for Epping."

Read more: Funding secured to push ahead with improvements at Lower Swaines in Epping

Initial site investigation works have been taking place on the five development sites in the town centre and strip out works are almost complete in advance of demolition on the Conder site this April.