Huge Southend seafront development could start next year

Paul Thompson, chairman of Southend Seafront Traders' Association, in front of the site

Paul Thompson, chairman of Southend Seafront Traders' Association, in front of the site

First published in News Exclusive by

BUILDERS could start work on a multi-million pound development of shops, restaurants and a 13-storey block of flats on a prime Southend seafront site next year.

Developer the Inner London Group hopes to submit long-awaited full plans for the Marine Plaza development on a derelict site opposite the Kursaal by the end of this year, the Echo can reveal.

Work to replace derelict former play area Funland, the Foresters Arms pub and a temporary car park with 290 flats and 3,000sq m of commercial space could start within six months of permission being granted.

Seafront traders and senior councillors have welcomed the scheme, which they hope will boost seafront regeneration.

Inner London Group director George Fentiman said: “It may be this size of development will push forward the rest of the seafront.

“It’s a fantastic development and a fantastic scheme.”

The developer has been holding talks with council planners for more than two years.

It has now formally asked the council what information it should include in a report on the environmental impact of the development, required with the planning application due to the size of the 2.7-acre site.

As well as a 13-storey block of flats, the developer wants to build shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, a takeaway, offices and an amusement arcade. The site is at the corner of Marine Parade and Southchurch Avenue.

The Inner London Group paid £2.25million for the site in 2010.

The Echo understands the firm is still negotiating with an elderly lady over buying the last of a row of four terraced houses at the north-eastern corner of the plot in Southchurch Avenue, but it is confident a deal will be reached.

A separate stumbling block presented by the Happidrome amusement arcade at the southwestern corner has been avoided, by no longer including it in the redevelopment plans.

Mr Fentiman said: “We are ready to build. If we had planning permission a year ago, we would be building now.

“We hope to put the application in this year and work could start within six months. It will be in 2015.”

Comments (25)

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6:31am Wed 5 Feb 14

SARFENDMAN says...

The site cerainly is long over due for a good development but 13 storeys?! Is it really necessary to go so high? The iconic listed Kursaal Dome will certainly be dwarfed.
The site cerainly is long over due for a good development but 13 storeys?! Is it really necessary to go so high? The iconic listed Kursaal Dome will certainly be dwarfed. SARFENDMAN
  • Score: 45

7:19am Wed 5 Feb 14

the citizen says...

'Sus scrofa domesticus' just seen taking off from Southend airport.....
'Sus scrofa domesticus' just seen taking off from Southend airport..... the citizen
  • Score: 3

7:37am Wed 5 Feb 14

You'dfeelbetterforknowingthat says...

Grand news
Grand news You'dfeelbetterforknowingthat
  • Score: 0

8:04am Wed 5 Feb 14

pembury53 says...

290 'buy to lets'
290 'buy to lets' pembury53
  • Score: 9

8:32am Wed 5 Feb 14

Alice in Her Own Land :P says...

About time this place was redeveloped, but that sounds like a bad idea for the sea front. More family themed entertainment is what's needed along the promenade rather than housing and shops. What shops are they thinking of? There's already an out of place Tesco there.
About time this place was redeveloped, but that sounds like a bad idea for the sea front. More family themed entertainment is what's needed along the promenade rather than housing and shops. What shops are they thinking of? There's already an out of place Tesco there. Alice in Her Own Land :P
  • Score: 15

9:14am Wed 5 Feb 14

Old Southendian says...

I've seen and heard it all before. So many schemes for the seafront in the past and so little action. "Builders could start work next year". The key word is "could". Work is a long way off if developers are still holding talks with the council after 2 years.
Some thing does need to be done in the area, whatever it is. It needs a brave bold step which the council appears to have been reluctant to take over many years.
I've seen and heard it all before. So many schemes for the seafront in the past and so little action. "Builders could start work next year". The key word is "could". Work is a long way off if developers are still holding talks with the council after 2 years. Some thing does need to be done in the area, whatever it is. It needs a brave bold step which the council appears to have been reluctant to take over many years. Old Southendian
  • Score: 19

9:14am Wed 5 Feb 14

Old Southendian says...

I've seen and heard it all before. So many schemes for the seafront in the past and so little action. "Builders could start work next year". The key word is "could". Work is a long way off if developers are still holding talks with the council after 2 years.
Some thing does need to be done in the area, whatever it is. It needs a brave bold step which the council appears to have been reluctant to take over many years.
I've seen and heard it all before. So many schemes for the seafront in the past and so little action. "Builders could start work next year". The key word is "could". Work is a long way off if developers are still holding talks with the council after 2 years. Some thing does need to be done in the area, whatever it is. It needs a brave bold step which the council appears to have been reluctant to take over many years. Old Southendian
  • Score: -4

10:20am Wed 5 Feb 14

Southchurch Saddlebag says...

I think rather than improving the area , the first priority should be to give Paul Thompson a decent scrub and a serious a makeover - he looks about 60 ......
I think rather than improving the area , the first priority should be to give Paul Thompson a decent scrub and a serious a makeover - he looks about 60 ...... Southchurch Saddlebag
  • Score: 13

11:44am Wed 5 Feb 14

shoeburyden says...

350 low cost flats, will these be for the london dross our council have taken the boris shilling to move into our area.new retail units, we dont need them 14 in the high street still enpty. victoria centre loads of empty units. what is going on with the sites at star lane and greyhound stadium should they not be developed first, why do we keep selling to inner london do the council have some little deal going on with them. cant wait for the elections to oust some of the councilors who put there own interest first
350 low cost flats, will these be for the london dross our council have taken the boris shilling to move into our area.new retail units, we dont need them 14 in the high street still enpty. victoria centre loads of empty units. what is going on with the sites at star lane and greyhound stadium should they not be developed first, why do we keep selling to inner london do the council have some little deal going on with them. cant wait for the elections to oust some of the councilors who put there own interest first shoeburyden
  • Score: 25

4:15pm Wed 5 Feb 14

sansculotte says...

**** poor scheme as usual wasting the great natural advantage of this site. Sadly Southend Council have learnt nothing from previous schemes. its any scheme at any price as usual and realise mistakes when too late.
Social Housing from London with D grade architecture and E grade enforcement of planning regulations.
No real Leisure facilities and absolutely NO value at all to the local community. Just usual speculative quick buck and easy fix. Poor.
**** poor scheme as usual wasting the great natural advantage of this site. Sadly Southend Council have learnt nothing from previous schemes. its any scheme at any price as usual and realise mistakes when too late. Social Housing from London with D grade architecture and E grade enforcement of planning regulations. No real Leisure facilities and absolutely NO value at all to the local community. Just usual speculative quick buck and easy fix. Poor. sansculotte
  • Score: 16

4:16pm Wed 5 Feb 14

the25man says...

I wouldn't want a shop on this site unless there were adequate precausions against flooding
I wouldn't want a shop on this site unless there were adequate precausions against flooding the25man
  • Score: 3

4:26pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Southchurch Saddlebag says...

Maybe Paul Thompson should try a combination of Botox and weightwatchers .... and don't get me started on his poor attempt at dressing himself .....
Maybe Paul Thompson should try a combination of Botox and weightwatchers .... and don't get me started on his poor attempt at dressing himself ..... Southchurch Saddlebag
  • Score: 4

7:20pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Alec Cikes says...

It sounds as though this project could be a local time bomb brewing! A good development scheme 13 storeys-high along the seafront? - I don't think so!

Why not consider building another "old" classical haunt with some good taste such as the Grand Hotel on this site and put some class back into town?
It sounds as though this project could be a local time bomb brewing! A good development scheme 13 storeys-high along the seafront? - I don't think so! Why not consider building another "old" classical haunt with some good taste such as the Grand Hotel on this site and put some class back into town? Alec Cikes
  • Score: 15

9:28pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Nebs says...

Alec Cikes wrote:
It sounds as though this project could be a local time bomb brewing! A good development scheme 13 storeys-high along the seafront? - I don't think so!

Why not consider building another "old" classical haunt with some good taste such as the Grand Hotel on this site and put some class back into town?
£
[quote][p][bold]Alec Cikes[/bold] wrote: It sounds as though this project could be a local time bomb brewing! A good development scheme 13 storeys-high along the seafront? - I don't think so! Why not consider building another "old" classical haunt with some good taste such as the Grand Hotel on this site and put some class back into town?[/p][/quote]£ Nebs
  • Score: 6

10:28pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Danshrimp says...

Old Southendian wrote:
I've seen and heard it all before. So many schemes for the seafront in the past and so little action. "Builders could start work next year". The key word is "could". Work is a long way off if developers are still holding talks with the council after 2 years.
Some thing does need to be done in the area, whatever it is. It needs a brave bold step which the council appears to have been reluctant to take over many years.
I don't think you can expect them to take 'bold new steps' when the last time they took a bold new step on improving the seafront they were met with endless abuse and complaints.

I think this is great news, but unfortunately the usual people will complain because they don't like change. Just look at any article on here about any kind of new development, the comments will be filled with people complaining before they've even designed anything.
[quote][p][bold]Old Southendian[/bold] wrote: I've seen and heard it all before. So many schemes for the seafront in the past and so little action. "Builders could start work next year". The key word is "could". Work is a long way off if developers are still holding talks with the council after 2 years. Some thing does need to be done in the area, whatever it is. It needs a brave bold step which the council appears to have been reluctant to take over many years.[/p][/quote]I don't think you can expect them to take 'bold new steps' when the last time they took a bold new step on improving the seafront they were met with endless abuse and complaints. I think this is great news, but unfortunately the usual people will complain because they don't like change. Just look at any article on here about any kind of new development, the comments will be filled with people complaining before they've even designed anything. Danshrimp
  • Score: 1

1:04am Thu 6 Feb 14

emcee says...

Quote; "...could start within six months of permission being granted."
-
The council should ensure any permission is only given on pain of a huge fine if the developer does not build within that six months. As residents of this town know only too well (gas works as one example) developers are not that quick off the mark once permission has been given.

Also, I too think 13 storeys will make this building stand out like a sore thumb and may be a tad too high for such a prominant position.
Quote; "...could start within six months of permission being granted." - The council should ensure any permission is only given on pain of a huge fine if the developer does not build within that six months. As residents of this town know only too well (gas works as one example) developers are not that quick off the mark once permission has been given. Also, I too think 13 storeys will make this building stand out like a sore thumb and may be a tad too high for such a prominant position. emcee
  • Score: 9

12:02pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Southchurch Saddlebag says...

By the look of the photo it looks like Paul Thompson could be living off the the site amongst the rubble - possibly surviving on tonnes of candy floss and ice cream a day , the bloater ....
By the look of the photo it looks like Paul Thompson could be living off the the site amongst the rubble - possibly surviving on tonnes of candy floss and ice cream a day , the bloater .... Southchurch Saddlebag
  • Score: 6

12:07pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Chymes81 says...

The Inner London Group had a display in the Victoria Plaza a year or so ago. Hopefully if they are sticking to the plans that I saw then crack on. Anything is better than what's there now.
The Inner London Group had a display in the Victoria Plaza a year or so ago. Hopefully if they are sticking to the plans that I saw then crack on. Anything is better than what's there now. Chymes81
  • Score: 4

2:31pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Joe Clark says...

Chymes81 wrote:
The Inner London Group had a display in the Victoria Plaza a year or so ago. Hopefully if they are sticking to the plans that I saw then crack on. Anything is better than what's there now.
Sadly people do not see it that way, and will moan for the sake of moaning, unless they are given the architects pencil and asked to design the building, no doubt it would end up as a completely inappropriate structure cost many millions more that would need completely reworking ending up with what was originally planned, sadly there are too many "I know best" posters who have zero knowledge of the trade, if they want to see the site developed their way why don't they put up the money....

Oh yes that's right they don't have enough.

Would they rather the site remain as is, than redeveloped in the way proposed probably but they are the fools as the redevelopment will create jobs but then again anti-change equals anti-jobs.
[quote][p][bold]Chymes81[/bold] wrote: The Inner London Group had a display in the Victoria Plaza a year or so ago. Hopefully if they are sticking to the plans that I saw then crack on. Anything is better than what's there now.[/p][/quote]Sadly people do not see it that way, and will moan for the sake of moaning, unless they are given the architects pencil and asked to design the building, no doubt it would end up as a completely inappropriate structure cost many millions more that would need completely reworking ending up with what was originally planned, sadly there are too many "I know best" posters who have zero knowledge of the trade, if they want to see the site developed their way why don't they put up the money.... Oh yes that's right they don't have enough. Would they rather the site remain as is, than redeveloped in the way proposed probably but they are the fools as the redevelopment will create jobs but then again anti-change equals anti-jobs. Joe Clark
  • Score: 10

5:34pm Thu 6 Feb 14

shoeburyden says...

Joe Clark wrote:
Chymes81 wrote:
The Inner London Group had a display in the Victoria Plaza a year or so ago. Hopefully if they are sticking to the plans that I saw then crack on. Anything is better than what's there now.
Sadly people do not see it that way, and will moan for the sake of moaning, unless they are given the architects pencil and asked to design the building, no doubt it would end up as a completely inappropriate structure cost many millions more that would need completely reworking ending up with what was originally planned, sadly there are too many "I know best" posters who have zero knowledge of the trade, if they want to see the site developed their way why don't they put up the money....

Oh yes that's right they don't have enough.

Would they rather the site remain as is, than redeveloped in the way proposed probably but they are the fools as the redevelopment will create jobs but then again anti-change equals anti-jobs.
if they had not demolished the new ship pub the site would not be so bad (the pub was demolished without permission from the council) and again other sites owned for a lot longer why are they not developing them? possibly because they always want to put more houses than agreed. just a greedy development company
[quote][p][bold]Joe Clark[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Chymes81[/bold] wrote: The Inner London Group had a display in the Victoria Plaza a year or so ago. Hopefully if they are sticking to the plans that I saw then crack on. Anything is better than what's there now.[/p][/quote]Sadly people do not see it that way, and will moan for the sake of moaning, unless they are given the architects pencil and asked to design the building, no doubt it would end up as a completely inappropriate structure cost many millions more that would need completely reworking ending up with what was originally planned, sadly there are too many "I know best" posters who have zero knowledge of the trade, if they want to see the site developed their way why don't they put up the money.... Oh yes that's right they don't have enough. Would they rather the site remain as is, than redeveloped in the way proposed probably but they are the fools as the redevelopment will create jobs but then again anti-change equals anti-jobs.[/p][/quote]if they had not demolished the new ship pub the site would not be so bad (the pub was demolished without permission from the council) and again other sites owned for a lot longer why are they not developing them? possibly because they always want to put more houses than agreed. just a greedy development company shoeburyden
  • Score: 4

6:39am Fri 7 Feb 14

southendfanman says...

This is great news and about time. This part of the seafront along with the Esplanade House part of the seafront being developed will bring the seafront up to scratch and make it ultra modern for a seafront resort in the UK. This might kick start the next phase of the city beach project up from the Kursaal towards the Esplanade House direction. Hopefully the next part of the seafront to be developed after that is the part that has room 24, the old bookies, the old nobles and the cafe etc and the land behind it. Those buildings need ripping down and updating. Exciting times for Southend between now and say 2018. Maybe they will even start work on the football stadium one day. Did they ever get that empty restaurant unit by the peer leased out? What is happening to the cafe in Warrior Square. I am guessing that Warrior Square and the Seaway Car park will be the next areas to be redeveloped and the saint Andrews quarter. What about about the idea of building Something like the Brighton lanes around the Clarence Road carpark area? Are they still thinking of pedestrianising part of Queens Road? Another part that would be good to be redeveloped is Victoria Avenue.
This is great news and about time. This part of the seafront along with the Esplanade House part of the seafront being developed will bring the seafront up to scratch and make it ultra modern for a seafront resort in the UK. This might kick start the next phase of the city beach project up from the Kursaal towards the Esplanade House direction. Hopefully the next part of the seafront to be developed after that is the part that has room 24, the old bookies, the old nobles and the cafe etc and the land behind it. Those buildings need ripping down and updating. Exciting times for Southend between now and say 2018. Maybe they will even start work on the football stadium one day. Did they ever get that empty restaurant unit by the peer leased out? What is happening to the cafe in Warrior Square. I am guessing that Warrior Square and the Seaway Car park will be the next areas to be redeveloped and the saint Andrews quarter. What about about the idea of building Something like the Brighton lanes around the Clarence Road carpark area? Are they still thinking of pedestrianising part of Queens Road? Another part that would be good to be redeveloped is Victoria Avenue. southendfanman
  • Score: 0

10:23am Fri 7 Feb 14

beaulocks says...

Southchurch Saddlebag wrote:
Maybe Paul Thompson should try a combination of Botox and weightwatchers .... and don't get me started on his poor attempt at dressing himself .....
Y
[quote][p][bold]Southchurch Saddlebag[/bold] wrote: Maybe Paul Thompson should try a combination of Botox and weightwatchers .... and don't get me started on his poor attempt at dressing himself .....[/p][/quote]Y beaulocks
  • Score: 0

10:24am Fri 7 Feb 14

beaulocks says...

Southchurch Saddlebag wrote:
By the look of the photo it looks like Paul Thompson could be living off the the site amongst the rubble - possibly surviving on tonnes of candy floss and ice cream a day , the bloater ....
Y have u got it in for mr blobby so much?

Ex girlfriend by any chance?
[quote][p][bold]Southchurch Saddlebag[/bold] wrote: By the look of the photo it looks like Paul Thompson could be living off the the site amongst the rubble - possibly surviving on tonnes of candy floss and ice cream a day , the bloater ....[/p][/quote]Y have u got it in for mr blobby so much? Ex girlfriend by any chance? beaulocks
  • Score: 1

3:34pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Joe Clark says...

shoeburyden wrote:
Joe Clark wrote:
Chymes81 wrote:
The Inner London Group had a display in the Victoria Plaza a year or so ago. Hopefully if they are sticking to the plans that I saw then crack on. Anything is better than what's there now.
Sadly people do not see it that way, and will moan for the sake of moaning, unless they are given the architects pencil and asked to design the building, no doubt it would end up as a completely inappropriate structure cost many millions more that would need completely reworking ending up with what was originally planned, sadly there are too many "I know best" posters who have zero knowledge of the trade, if they want to see the site developed their way why don't they put up the money....

Oh yes that's right they don't have enough.

Would they rather the site remain as is, than redeveloped in the way proposed probably but they are the fools as the redevelopment will create jobs but then again anti-change equals anti-jobs.
if they had not demolished the new ship pub the site would not be so bad (the pub was demolished without permission from the council) and again other sites owned for a lot longer why are they not developing them? possibly because they always want to put more houses than agreed. just a greedy development company
Unless there is a listed status on a building or it is within a preservation area you do not always need to seek planning permission to demolish a building.
[quote][p][bold]shoeburyden[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Joe Clark[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Chymes81[/bold] wrote: The Inner London Group had a display in the Victoria Plaza a year or so ago. Hopefully if they are sticking to the plans that I saw then crack on. Anything is better than what's there now.[/p][/quote]Sadly people do not see it that way, and will moan for the sake of moaning, unless they are given the architects pencil and asked to design the building, no doubt it would end up as a completely inappropriate structure cost many millions more that would need completely reworking ending up with what was originally planned, sadly there are too many "I know best" posters who have zero knowledge of the trade, if they want to see the site developed their way why don't they put up the money.... Oh yes that's right they don't have enough. Would they rather the site remain as is, than redeveloped in the way proposed probably but they are the fools as the redevelopment will create jobs but then again anti-change equals anti-jobs.[/p][/quote]if they had not demolished the new ship pub the site would not be so bad (the pub was demolished without permission from the council) and again other sites owned for a lot longer why are they not developing them? possibly because they always want to put more houses than agreed. just a greedy development company[/p][/quote]Unless there is a listed status on a building or it is within a preservation area you do not always need to seek planning permission to demolish a building. Joe Clark
  • Score: 0

8:28am Tue 11 Feb 14

smiffy1980 says...

Southchurch Saddlebag wrote:
Maybe Paul Thompson should try a combination of Botox and weightwatchers .... and don't get me started on his poor attempt at dressing himself .....
Not entirely sure what it has to do with you on how the guy dresses.

The site needs something done to it, but as most on here have already stated. It most likely wont happen anytime soon, if at all!!

Southend over the years just has gone further down hill and unfortunately it doesnt look like its going to get any better. It says alot when "locals" go elsewhere to visit the beach.
[quote][p][bold]Southchurch Saddlebag[/bold] wrote: Maybe Paul Thompson should try a combination of Botox and weightwatchers .... and don't get me started on his poor attempt at dressing himself .....[/p][/quote]Not entirely sure what it has to do with you on how the guy dresses. The site needs something done to it, but as most on here have already stated. It most likely wont happen anytime soon, if at all!! Southend over the years just has gone further down hill and unfortunately it doesnt look like its going to get any better. It says alot when "locals" go elsewhere to visit the beach. smiffy1980
  • Score: 1

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