APARTMENTS look set to replace up to ten proposed shops at a Colchester development.

Just two approaches were made by investors looking to buy the units at New Braiswick Park in two years. Neither materialised into offers.

Now the site’s lead developer, Braiswick Consortium, has applied to Colchester Council to turn the empty units, on Apprentice Drive, into ten, two-bedroom apartments.

There are no shops on the 750-home estate, most of which has been built now by the consortium, comprising Permisson Homes and Taylor Wimpey.

Lawrence Jacobs, 42, of Axial Drive, New Braiswick Park, said: “I am disappointed. We were looking forward to having a general store. Our nearest is on Bergholt Road. If they opened a shop here, they would make a killing.”

Jordan Newell, of Tufnell Way, New Braiswick Park, and chair of Colchester’s Labour party, added: “Our area is expanding rapidly, reflected by the introduction of a new bus route to serve the estate. Residents will need more localised amenities, and soon.

“I urge those involved to explore further options before turning these units into residential properties.”

Duncan Jackson, managing director for Persimmon Homes Essex, said: “We made the decision based on the fact we received little interest in the commercial units and believe an increase in new build homes will be better received locally.”

Martin Goss, Mile End councillor, said he had heard there were plans for a shop at the front of the development.