AN iconic high street building which was the home of Colchester Conservative Club for more than 90 years could be pulled down and replaced with nine apartments.

Neil Bischoff has applied for planning permission to demolish the old Colchester Conservative Club, in High Street, as well as the retail unit below, belonging to Claydons Newsagents.

The retail unit would be rebuilt for the same tenant whilst nine flats, five one-bed and four two-beds, would be built over three floors.

Colchester Conservative Club, which moved to the High Street premises in 1928, closed for good in 2018 due to dwindling membership and the declining use of the club by the community.

A planning statement prepared by DRK Planning said the existing building was “severely structurally flawed”.

It said: “The existing community premises had been marketed with agents over a prolonged period of time, following the vacancy of the premises.

“However, a lack of interest from alternative community users and significant structural problems to the property have meant that the premises is not suitable for continued community use.”


After the club closed, the building was sold for offers in and about £435,000 and is now set to be torn down and rebuilt by its new owner.

Four of the apartments will have their own private garden or roof terrace whilst a communal roof garden is set to be created for the new tenants.

The report adds: “The proposed new building would be sympathetically designed to respect the scale, height, design, massing and external appearance of the conservation area, other nearby heritage assets and the street scene to this part of the town centre.

“It would provide for a mix of high quality and sustainable accommodation, in an area well served by public transport and amenities, and would improve the security and attractiveness of this part of the town centre conservation area.

“The development would be a positive replacement to the current building, which has been vacant for some time and would be uneconomical to retain.”


A basement for the new retail unit will also be created on site.

Colchester Council will have the final say on the plans.