THIS is how a new housing estate, football clubhouse, AstroTurf pitch and Scout hut could look.

Dishland, which owns the Gas Rec playing field, in Bromley Road, Colchester, will today submit a planning application for the site.

The developer says the 32 houses and 18 flats will save Gas Recreation Football Club and give 8th Colchester Scouts a home for the first time.

Denis Diggin, who runs Dishland, said: “This is something for the community.

“The football club is part of the community here – people want to see it survive.

“Without this, I don’t think it would have a future.

“The Scouts have never had a home of their own, so this would be a massively positive change for them.”

Mr Diggin bought the land a decade ago for about £320,000.

The homes would be made accessible by knocking down two bungalows Dishland owns in Salary Close.

A drop-off and collection point for Roach Vale Primary School will also be provided.

As part of the plans, Gas Rec will get a new pavilion, an all-weather training pitch and a new first-team pitch.

If planning permission is not granted, Dishland may sell the playing fields.

Mr Diggin said: “The alternative is we shut the gates and everybody loses.

“With the plans, everyone wins.

“We’re giving more than 60 per cent of the land back to the community.

“If that wasn’t the case, we could have looked at 100 homes.

“There probably aren’t too many developers which would offer what we’re offering.”

The plans have faced stiff opposition from councillors and some residents because the land is not included in Colchester Council’s local plan, which sets out where development can take place.