The owners of the Brunel Centre in Swindon are moving towards making a formal bid to build two huge tower blocks full of flats.

FI Real Estate Management held public consultation events of a proposal to demolish part of the centre alongside Wharf Green and built two towers containing 280 one-and-two-bed apartments, along with shops, cafes and a gym on the lower floors.

Now the company has applied to planners at Swindon Borough Council for an opinion on whether it has to produce an environmental impact assessment on the scheme.

Such an application is normally a precursor to a formal request for consent, and it does say the company is proposing to submit a full application.

In its initial proposals the Manchester company suggested it could build one 20 storey tower and one of 24 floors.

As well as demolishing some of the retail units, the concrete ramp serving the centre's car park from Farnsby Street would be demolished and a small park created.

FI REM says the development would breathe new life into Swindon town centre, with more people living in what is a quiet area once the shops shut, bringing more money to the evening economy.