ASDA will be flattened as part of plans to partly demolish Eastgate shopping centre to make way for thousands of homes.

The supermarket is set to downgrade the store in the shopping centre with the town centre struggling to stay afloat.

Eastgate is preparing to be partly demolished to make way for 2,800 homes, meaning the current supermarket will go.

However, according to the application, Asda is set to remain inside the reduced shopping centre but at a much smaller site.

Supermarket bosses are believed to be in favour of the application, submitted by the owners of Eastgate, and are keen to stay in the town centre.

Kerry Smith, deputy leader of Basildon Council, said there isn’t spare land across the borough for developers to build on, with demolition plans like this one deemed “helpful.”

The application says “the shopping centre and town centre as a whole is struggling to stay viable”, while adding “Basildon has been losing out on retail trade to Lakeside and Southend.”

Mr Smith said: “The main concern was that residents would lose their supermarket. But it looks another space has been allocated.

“I was inundated with 20 to 30 complaints about losing the Asda, but it will be staying in the town centre.

“The supermarket is a key part of the town centre. I hope it will put people’s minds at ease.”

The homes will be part of up to 18 storey buildings in the new Eastgate Quarter, which will also be home to up to 800 car parking spaces.

Kerry Smith added: “Every home we build in the town centre protects our green belt land elsewhere.

“There isn’t the land across the borough that residents need.”

If approved, it will form part of the Basildon Masterplan.

A spokesman from Asda, said: "We’re proud to have been an integral part of Eastgate Shopping Centre and to serve our customers in Basildon for over 16 years.

"We are always happy to look at better ways to improve the future for our colleagues, customers and Basildon as a whole.

"We will work with the applicant on the details of their scheme to ensure we continue to support the Basildon community.”