LONG-AWAITED plans to regenerate a derelict industrial estate have moved a step closer.

Braintree Council’s planning officers have recommended approval for Plutus Estates’ plan to transform the former Broomhills Industrial Estate in Pods Brook Road, Braintree.

The applicant is seeking full planning permission to demolish existing buildings on the site before installing 81 new homes.

The developer’s initial plan to build 107 homes on the brownfield land was refused last year due to concerns about the impact it would have on the area.

The number of homes has been scaled back to ease those fears but some residents have objected to the proposals again due to fears over increased traffic and a lack of parking.

However, others have called for the scheme to be approved to curb anti-social behaviour taking place on the industrial estate.

They have also described the estate as a “blot on the landscape” and an “eyesore”.

And planning officers have agreed with supporters of the blueprints and recommend councillors approve the application.

In their report, they state: “The development will undoubtedly bring economic benefits during the construction stage and thereafter with spending powers from additional residents supporting the services and facilities within the town and wider locality.

“The redevelopment would facilitate the removal of an unsightly and non-conforming brownfield site, together with improvements to the visual amenity of the area together with improved surface water drainage and strengthening of landscaping.”

No affordable housing will be provided by the developer, who will also have to make financial contributions to the education and health services in the area.

Essex Highways has raised no objections but asked for a number of changes to be made to the surrounding roads by the developer.

These include adding in traffic islands for pedestrians and improving access to the site via Guernsey Way.

Councillors will rule on the plans during a meeting at Causeway House, Bocking End next Tuesday.

The meeting gets under way at 7.15pm and members of the public are invited to attend.