Anxious residents have called on Southend Council to come clean over the future of the Queensway estate ahead of a crisis meeting.

The Queensway Community Group has called in the authority’s councillor responsible for housing, David Norman, for crunch talks next Monday from 4pm to 6pm.

It comes after revelations in the Echo that, as part of planned Queensway estate development, the four tower blocks could be flattened.

Hundreds of residents live in the four estate tower blocks – Quantock, in Chichester Road, and Malvern, Pennine, and Chiltern, north of Queensway.

Sylvia Topliss, 56, who has lived in Malvern for 20 years, said: “It’s disgusting.

We want to know if there is anything going on, and whether it is lies or not.

Richard Sargent, 50, who has lived in Malvern for 11 years, added: “We just want to know what is going on because we have heard a lot of stuff in the papers and we’re wondering if they are going to be knocked down.

“It’ll make some people happy, but others unhappy.

“If they re-house us and give us compensation I’m fine with it.”

The residents will get a chance to speak to Labour’s Mr Norman at the Storehouse, by the three tower blocks, on Monday night.

The Independent, Labour, and Lib Dem administration wants to redevelop the estate, but a number of options for the tower blocks, including simply refurbishing them, are on the cards.

The former Queensway house, next to the 16-storey Quantock, has been flatted and a new town centre car park will open in its place tomorrow.

However, the site means that Qauntock is more ripe for development compared to the other three tower blocks, which will have work done on them later.

Rose Chapman, 82, who has lived in the tower for 36 years, added: “I would be gutted because we have got the shops around the corner and the doctors just across the road.

“I’ve lived here for so long. Where would the council put me?”

If the authority, which is setting up a group to look into the estate’s regeneration, decides to flatten the blocks, no demolition will be done before all the tenants have moved into alternative accommodation.


No decision has been made - Southend Council

THE man in charge of Southend’s housing has admitted that no decision has been made to flatten the blocks or not.

In the wake of the Echo’s story in July, the authority wrote to all 350 tenants of the Quantock tower to say no decision has been made – a claim reiterated by Labour’s David Norman yesterday, who is councillor responsible for housing.

He claims a working party will soon be set up to examine redevelopment options of the estate, and that could include demolishing or refurbishing the four tower blocks.

An option to build low-rise homes has not been discounted.

Mr Norman, who also represents Victoria ward, said: “Nothing has been ruled out, but nothing has been ruled in.

“No options have been finalised, but we know there has been some disquiet over the last few months, so we want to give it to residents straight.

“But to say the bulldozers are outside their doors could not be further from the truth.”