A BUILDING which has sat vacant in Brentwood “for years” could be sold off to make way for new homes.

The Warley Training Centre, in The Drive, will be replaced by 38 homes and a community hall.

Brentwood First councillor Russell Quirk, chairman of Brentwood Council’s asset panel, said by selling the site they would make a “seven-figure sum”. He added five of the homes on the site will be council owned which will generate income for the authority.

The five council homes announcement has been criticised by the Tory group.

Mr Quirk blasted their position. He said: “They are an investment. It’s an outrageous claim to say this is a waste of taxpayers’ money.

“The properties will go up in value, and we’ll make £60,000 a year in rent. It’s money in the bank.”

Conservatives called in the decision, but it’s since been revoked by council officers.

Mr Quirk added: “I was surprised by the emails I got from them saying they weren’t happy.

“It’s a real shame because we’re trying to make money for Brentwood.”

The group claim the original recommendation was to sell the site to the highest bidder, and that Mr Quirk changed it at the last minute and added five houses for the council.

Tory councillor Keith Parker said: “This is typical of the new administration and especially the asset chairman who is always seeking headlines rather than focusing on just doing the job.

“The matter was clearly outside of the panel’s remit and is rightly going to full council for a proper, open and transparent decision.”