Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us Click here for details »
Flats rethink is given the thumbs up
5:30pm Sunday 25th August 2013 in News
A DEVELOPER has changed its plans for retirement flats on a derelict Southchurch dairy site after campaigners took their fight to the corridors of power.
McCarthy and Stone Retirement Lifestyles has moved flats planned for the Dairy Crest site, in Southchurch Boulevard, further away from homes, removed back balconies and added a 5.5m-high wall and fence after the Government warned previous proposals invaded neighbours’ privacy.
Neighbours gave a cautious welcome to the revised plans, which also include fewer flats in a smaller block and 50 per cent more parking.
Neighbour Sally Harrison, of Droitwich Avenue, who led the successful campaign to have the original plans rejected, said: “I wouldn’t call it a victory yet, but it’s a big thumbsup to the local neighbours and neighbouring community, who have pulled together and have now started to get a positive response from such a big developer.
“We don’t want to be obstructive for the sake of it. We just care about where we live.
“We live up here because of the privacy.”
A Government planning inspector backed Southend Council’s refusal of the Bournemouth-based firm’s plans for 35 retirement homes on the site earlier this year after neighbours said the demolition of a 7m-high wall at the back meant occupants could overlook their homes.
The new, smaller block would contain 32 flats and be 3m further away from houses at the back. Rear balconies and some rear windows have been removed from the design and a 3.7m-high wall with a 1.8m slatted hardwood screen on top would be built at the boundary to further protect neighbours’ privacy.
Mum Mrs Harrison, 39, said: “The overriding thing is it’s a shame McCarthy and Stone put me in particular and the neighbours through all this stress of an appeal that was blatantly going to get thrown out.”
A McCarthy and Stone spokesman said: “It is our aim to transform this vacant site with a sensitive development, which will feature a high-quality design and complement the character of the surrounding area.
“We believe this site is an ideal location to provide new and muchneeded accommodation for people in later life in Southend.”
Comments are closed on this article.