WORK to renovate one of Colchester’s most famous buildings could take place much sooner than anticipated.

Ross Carroll, of developer Amdev 101, bought the dilapidated former Odoen Cinema in Crouch Street nearly two years ago.

In June, he submitted long-awaited plans to convert it into three shops and 43 flats.

Its 1930s Art Deco facade would be preserved.

But costs associated with the £14million project have forced Mr Carroll to go back to the drawing board and change it.

He said: “We got a quotation for £385,000 for the demolition and once we got that through, we had a eureka moment.

“We have now decided to utilise the rear of the building.

Nowwe are not pulling down any of the building, we are going to work with what we have.”

The changes mean Mr Carroll needs fresh drawings produced for planners at Colchester Council.

For a special report, see Monday's Gazette