Southend seafront plans revealed

08/06/2011

Essex Echo reports that striking plans for a towering landmark development on Southend seafront – including hundreds of new homes – are expected to be submitted next month.

Developers the Inner London Group are behind the scheme to build about 350 apartments, plus shops, restaurants, offices and leisure facilities between Marine Parade, Southchurch Avenue and Pleasant Road.

The development, opposite the iconic Kursaal, is expected to be ten to 14 storeys high and include 6,000 sqm of commercial floor space.

Larry Fenttiman, a partner in the Inner London Group, said the final details of the project, such as the exact number of flats and design issues, were still being ironed out with council planners, but the end was in sight.

He said: “We are looking at submitting a planning application in July. We haven’t finalised the scheme at the moment, but it is progressing. We’ve been working on it for a year now.”

If approved and built, the development would change the face of the Golden Mile, which has been given a major makeover with the £7million City Beach scheme.

In December, preliminary proposals were put forward by the Pegasus Planning Group on behalf of the Inner London Group.

This revealed properties on the site would be demolished and a series of new building between four and eight storeys high built.

There would also be a ten to 14-storey building providing up to 350 flats plus car and bicycle parking.

The 3.2-acre site includes a shops and pubs – many still in use – plus four terraced houses in Southchurch Avenue.

The old Funland site, the Foresters Arms pub, the closed New Ship pub and the Happidrome amusement arcade would all be bulldozed if the plans go ahead.

Last summer, the Echo revealed about half the site – the old Funland arcade, the car park behind, Ye Olde Chippy, and the New Ship – had been bought by property consortium Goldfield Develop-ments, which has links to the Inner London Group, for £2.25million.

The Echo understands most of the land needed has been bought up, with talks ongoing with the owners of the Foresters Arms, Marine Parade.

A spokeswoman for Enterprise Inns, which owns the Foresters Arms, said: “We are aware of an intention to develop the area, which includes our property. No firm decision has been made about our property.”

No one at Happidrome wished to comment, but a Land Registry search showed its £800,000 site, including the Rockery and Wilkies Shellfish Bar, was still in the hands of owners Stanley Knatchbull and Edward Warren.

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