A POPULAR discount store is set to be demolished and replaced with nine flats and two new retail units.

A planning application has been submitted to pull down The Original Factory Shop, in Kelvedon Road, Tiptree, and replace it with two new buildings.

The application says the retailer's lease is set to expire and it is looking for alternative premises at a cheaper rate.

A planning report states: "The Factory Shop lease is shortly due to expire and although they have occupied the site for many years have informed the applicant they are not intending to renew their lease.

"The financial strain of the lockdown has impacted the companies turnover and it has been established they are seeking an alternative premises at a reduced rate.

"The applicant has sought to negotiate with the existing tenants however they would only be looking to remain if there were a 50 per cent reduction in the cost, which is not then financially viable for the applicant.

"Once the lease has expired this would then leave the premises empty with the applicant needing to seek an alternative use or occupant.

Gazette: The Original Factory Shop in Tiptree could be replaced with flats. Picture: From the planning application

"The scale and layout of the existing building would limit the suitability for many companies.

"Therefore, the purpose of this application is to seek permission to redevelop the site, still retaining a commercial element allowing retail or office space to be let out to local or national businesses but also introduce residential development."

The new premises would be built over two buildings, the first of which will have two retail units at ground floor and flats above.

Gazette: The Original Factory Shop in Tiptree could be replaced with flats

The second, smaller building will be solely residential.

Each of the nine flats are set to be two-beds whilst 16 parking spaces will be provided for the commercial units and the flats.

The existing access to Kelvedon Road will be maintained during the redevelopment.

The report adds: "It is submitted the redevelopment of the site as proposed would result in a reduction in traffic movements compared to the existing traffic associated with The Factory Shop."

Colchester Council will have the final say on the plans.