PLANS for a retirement complex and food store on a site which was previously set to be a Tesco have been tipped for approval, despite concerns from neighbouring residents.

Developers McCarthy and Stone want to build 48 apartments and a small food store on land off Butt Road.

The flats will be a mixture of one and two bedrooms across three and four storey buildings and the development will also feature a management office and staff sleepover accommodation to allow people to be on hand for 24-hour assistance.

Communal facilities for residents will also include a lounge, restaurant with catering kitchen, laundry room and electric buggy store.

A decision on the plans will be discussed at a meeting of Colchester Council’s planning committee next Thursday, but officers have tipped the plans to be given the go ahead.

A report into the development said: “This is a brownfield site in a highly sustainable location which has a planning history of permission for a more intensive form of retail development.

“It is considered the proposal would meet the needs of the community whilst minimising traffic generation.

“The proposed assisted living extra care facility is well designed and responds to its context in a positive manner.”

The site, which also has an entrance on Goojerat Road, was put on the market last year by owner Tesco.

The company had planning permission to build a small supermarket on the site.

But the chain pulled the plug on the development, along with two others in Blackheath and Prettygate, after profits took a turn for the worse.

More than 40 objections have been lodged by residents who are concerned about the building not fitting in with those around it, and about more people potentially wanting to park on already congested streets.

The developers original plan included ten parking spaces for the food store, but have now increased the number to 22, while 26 spaces have been earmarked for the retirement complex to serve staff, visitors and residents.