DERELICT site which has become a magnet for vandals may me built on after all.

Southend Council officers had recommended refusal of plans for 65 homes on the former Albany Laundry site, in Nelson Road, Leigh, and the derelict Albany Court flats opposite, but councillors disagreed.

At a development and control committee, councillors ruled the development should get the go ahead as long as negotiations continued to ensure enough affordable housing is built.

Officers had said it should have been rejected because the developer, Land Charter Southend, had only agreed to provide ten affordable homes – not the 20 officers wanted.

Nearby residents and businesses have been calling for the redevelopment of the sites, one of which has only been used by graffiti artists and skateboarders since the laundry closed in 2005.

Last year, the same committee rejected a bigger housing plan for the same sites over fears of their size, lack of parking, lack of recreational space and design.

Graham Longley (Lib Dem, Blenheim Park) said: “It’s not often I’m pleased with developers, but this developer has gone many ways towards addressing those concerns and this seems now to be a good scheme.

“It’s a shame the number of affordable housing units wasn’t agreed before this meeting, but I wonder if we could give officers delegated powers just to get things moving?”

Ron Woodley (Ind, Thorpe) was the lone voice against the suggestion, saying he thought it was the responsibility of elected councillors to stipulate howmany affordable homes a developer should build – not officers.

The committee voted by 13 votes in favour, to one against, to allow the scheme and let officers negotiate over the amount of affordable homes the developer needs to include.

NEW family homes could soon be built on a derelict former industrial site in the centre of Southend after a planning application passed another hurdle.

The plans for 28 two and three bedroom houses on the sites of a former laundry and warehouse between North Road and Salisbury Avenue were granted outline planning permission.

Six of the 12 two-bedroom houses to be built will be handed over to a housing association to rent out as affordable housing.

The laundry, which was opened in 1948, closed just under a decade ago and since being demolished has become a magnet for fly-tipping.