A DEVELOPER says he will build as many homes as possible on the site of a dilapidated listed building.
Colchester Council had hoped to join forces with the Spitalfields Historic Buildings Trust to restore Brook House, in Tiptree.
The trust, which specialises in restoring buildings which are in a dire need of repair, has decided it is not worth saving the 18th- century home, which has been derelict for 25 years.
It paves the way for owner J Purdy and Sons, which bought Brook House, in Maldon Road, in 2009, to submit plans to build homes on the site.
Jimmy Purdy, who runs the company, said: “It is four years and a lot of money wasted.
“I told the council the place was falling down and wasn’t salvageable and there was no point in keeping it up.
“Now, I would love to get as many houses as I can on it.”
Mr Purdy had hoped to demolish the home and build houses soon after he bought it, but plans were rejected following opposition from residents and conservation groups.
A report by a structural engineer also stated the building could be saved and restored.
Mr Purdy said: “We could be four years further on from where we are now, but they said it could be restored and they even made me scaffold it to make it safe.
“That’s money I won’t be seeing again.”
Douglas Blain, the Spitalfields Historic Buildings Trust secretary, visited the site in October and told the Gazette the trust could restore the building for less than £1million and sell it as a home.
Mr Purdy would also have been allowed to build a small crescent of homes.
Tim Young, borough councillor responsible for culture, said the trust had backed out. He said: “The trust has said Brook House is more or less falling down completely and for an organisation which specialises is restoring buildings which are falling down to say that, I’m surprised.”
The building is in the process of being de-listed, which would make it easier to get planning permission to knock it down.
Mr Young said: “We’re now expecting to see a planning application from the owners to come in.”
He plans to meet with Tiptree representatives to gauge public views on the house’s future.