THE first stage of the redevelopment of Severalls Hospital in Colchester looks set to go ahead.

Colchester Council’s planning committee will examine the first phase of the transformation of the former mental health hospital next Thursday.

Landowners, the North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and the Homes and Communities Agency, have applied to build 248 homes on a corner of the site, close to Mill Road. If they get planning permission, they intend to sell the land to a developer, and expect other homebuilders to buy the remainder of the site.

Planning officers have recommended planning permission is granted, subject to conditions.

After meetings with the Environment Agency and the landowners, the council officers say the plans are acceptable in principle.

Martin Goss, Mile End ward councillor, who is not on the planning committee, said he may not be able to support the application after concerns were raised by residents living nearby.

He said: “Unless concerns about drainage capacity and proposed garage parking being too close to the existing properties are satisfied, this won’t be getting my support.”

While the majority of the homes will be houses, there are 30 one and two-bedroom flats proposed. In total, about 1,500 homes, a primary school and community facilities are planned for the site of the former hospital, which closed in 1997.

Funding has been found to build a road through the land, linking the Northern Approach Road with Junction 28 of the A12.