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Regeneration plans approved in Southend

Words: Laura Edgar
Public realm at Better Queensway /dRMM, Porters Place Southend-on-Sea LLP

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s development control committee has granted planning permissions for the Better Queensway regeneration project, which includes more than 1,700 new homes.

Porters Place Southend-on-Sea LLP is behind the development. At the meeting, the firm’s overall masterplan, designed by award-winning architects dRMM and LDA Design, was granted outline permission while detailed consent was approved for highway changes by Civic Engineers.

The masterplan comprises:

  • A phased demolition of the four existing tower blocks on the Queensway estate and their replacement with up to 1,760 modern new homes.
  • Up to 10,000 square metres of commercial space, including retail and cafés that will complement the existing high street retailers; employment space for start-up businesses and creative industries and a crèche or nursery.
  • A new central community concierge.
  • Attractive new public realm and improved links to the town centre for those travelling from Southend Victoria railway station or on foot or bicycle from surrounding streets.
  • A new urban park and public squares designed by LDA design, the same landscape architects who created the acclaimed Olympic Park in Stratford.
  • Additional residential car parking.

At least 512 of the homes have been designated as affordable. There will be a mix of 300 social rented homes and 212 intermediate homes (shared equity and shared ownership). The 300 social rented and 12 shared equity homes will be delivered through a section 106 agreement, and 200 shared ownership homes will be delivered through a contractual commitment in the approved business plan.

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Swan also intend to deliver an additional 100 affordable homes through a separate contractual agreement.

The highway changes are phased engineering works to remove the roundabout and associated underpass at Queensway/Sutton Road/Southchurch Road and replace it with the “latest in sustainable” highways design to retain four lanes of traffic. It will be a tree-lined avenue with cycle lanes. An urban park, 190 new trees and electric car charging points also feature as part of the overall plans.

Geoff Pearce, chair of the Porters Place Southend-on-Sea LLP board and deputy chief executive of Swan Housing Association, said: “At a time when many towns are calling for investment to help improve the local area, we are confident that the £500 million-plus investment in the Better Queensway regeneration will help ensure that Southend-on-Sea doesn’t just recover from Covid-19 but thrives and becomes an exemplar scheme driving economic recovery, wellbeing and supporting the community.”

Alison Griffin, chief executive at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, added: “Key within the borough’s 2050 ambitions is providing additional housing to meet people’s needs, creating opportunity and prosperity through new jobs and attracting investment to Southend-on-Sea. The Better Queensway regeneration scheme goes a long way to delivering those ambitions and we are pleased to be able to progress the project.”

Image credit | dRMM, Porters Place Southend-on-Sea LLP