Sealife Adventure delay threatens huge Southend lagoon plan for Three Shells Beach

£1m seafront lagoon in jeopardy

An artist's impression of the artificial lagoon

An artist's impression of the Sealife Adventure plan

First published in Echo News by

PLANS for a £1million artificial lagoon on Southend seafront could be in jeopardy after a proposed revamp of Sealife Adventure was delayed.

Sealife Adventure owner the Stockvale Group was due to pump £100,000 into a huge treelined tidal pool at Three Shells Beach, but the Echo understands the firm has threatened to pull the plug after Southend Council failed to approve plans to extend the Sealife Centre, in Eastern Esplanade.

The Government has signed off £850,000 of taxpayers’ cash for the lagoon scheme, put forward by Stockvale, but the firm is angry the Sealife plans were deferred.

Ironically, Southend Council’s planning committee had approved the lagoon, despite fears its 400ft-long steel and rock wall could block the Alexandra Yacht Club next door, but deferred the Sealife extension over concerns the design would spoil the area.

Paul Thompson, chairman of Southend Seafront Traders’ Association, said: “It’s a shame the council couldn’t agree all of the applications, as they were all good for the town and the seafront. I’m not sure why the Sealife plan was deferred.

“It means we are going to miss out on two big attractions. It would be fantastic for the town to have both in place for the start of next year.”

The Sealife extension would house crocodiles, penguins, seals and meerkats, but residents of 19th century former fishermen’s cottages opposite said the extension, which would double the size of Sealife Adventure, would look like an industrial building.

Councillors also raised concerns about the “rainbow” cladding, which appears to change colour as the angle of light changes.

David Norman, chairman of the cross-party group which decides planning applications, said: “With a building of this size and scale, the question of external cladding is important in any planning judgment.

“The cladding is a legitimate planning judgment the planning committee must take into account.

“The committee did what it is constitutionally empowered to do.”

Julian Ware-Lane, Labour councillor for Milton, claimed the lagoon would turn Southend into a “plastic Marbella”.

He said: “I’m delighted the lagoon is scuppered, but I would rather it was scuppered by the will of the council, rather than the petulance of a developer.

“It sounds as if Stockvale is saying ‘unless you give us everything, we aren’t going to give you anything’.

“It smacks of trying to hold the council to ransom.”

The Stockvale Group declined to comment.

Comments (21)

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8:01am Wed 16 Apr 14

pembury53 says...

"plastic marbella" ? more a 'plastic gdansk' ............. anyway, fingers crossed it's neither.......
"plastic marbella" ? more a 'plastic gdansk' ............. anyway, fingers crossed it's neither....... pembury53
  • Score: -1

8:32am Wed 16 Apr 14

DogsMessInLeigh says...

why can't the council take on the lagoon themselves(i bet they will end up maintaining it anyway), sure they can scrape together the other 100k, the way this is written is like a pure blackmail action, if we can't have our rainbow building we will throw our toys out of the pram.
why can't the council take on the lagoon themselves(i bet they will end up maintaining it anyway), sure they can scrape together the other 100k, the way this is written is like a pure blackmail action, if we can't have our rainbow building we will throw our toys out of the pram. DogsMessInLeigh
  • Score: 26

8:54am Wed 16 Apr 14

Broadwaywatch says...

When all is agreed, done and dusted, as I believe eventually it will be and Southend sea front possibly acquires a controversial 'rainbow' cladded Sea Life Centre and a Lagoon; I wonder if in time there will be a charge to use the lagoon.
When all is agreed, done and dusted, as I believe eventually it will be and Southend sea front possibly acquires a controversial 'rainbow' cladded Sea Life Centre and a Lagoon; I wonder if in time there will be a charge to use the lagoon. Broadwaywatch
  • Score: 6

8:55am Wed 16 Apr 14

rayleigh123 says...

This goes on far to much with most of the councils in Essex, big business will give X pounds for a project on the stricty understanding that the council gives planning permission on a certian project - is this not bribary ???

I have a small plot of land - far to small for a house to be built, however if i sponser the local lollypop lady for the next 2 years can i have planning permission ????

.
.
This goes on far to much with most of the councils in Essex, big business will give X pounds for a project on the stricty understanding that the council gives planning permission on a certian project - is this not bribary ??? I have a small plot of land - far to small for a house to be built, however if i sponser the local lollypop lady for the next 2 years can i have planning permission ???? . . rayleigh123
  • Score: 15

9:59am Wed 16 Apr 14

ebee47 says...

pembury53 wrote:
"plastic marbella" ? more a 'plastic gdansk' ............. anyway, fingers crossed it's neither.......
We don't want crocodiles or otters or any more captive wild animals on the seafront thanks.
[quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: "plastic marbella" ? more a 'plastic gdansk' ............. anyway, fingers crossed it's neither.......[/p][/quote]We don't want crocodiles or otters or any more captive wild animals on the seafront thanks. ebee47
  • Score: 20

10:05am Wed 16 Apr 14

ebee47 says...

We don't want crocodiles or otters or any more captive wild animals in small unsuitable boxes on the seafront thanks.
We don't want crocodiles or otters or any more captive wild animals in small unsuitable boxes on the seafront thanks. ebee47
  • Score: 7

10:30am Wed 16 Apr 14

pembury53 says...

ebee47 wrote:
pembury53 wrote: "plastic marbella" ? more a 'plastic gdansk' ............. anyway, fingers crossed it's neither.......
We don't want crocodiles or otters or any more captive wild animals on the seafront thanks.
not sure how your comment realtes to mine, but yep, the existing fish tank is quite enough....
[quote][p][bold]ebee47[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: "plastic marbella" ? more a 'plastic gdansk' ............. anyway, fingers crossed it's neither.......[/p][/quote]We don't want crocodiles or otters or any more captive wild animals on the seafront thanks.[/p][/quote]not sure how your comment realtes to mine, but yep, the existing fish tank is quite enough.... pembury53
  • Score: 2

11:44am Wed 16 Apr 14

whateverhappened says...

What a joke this council, julian lane ware and many on here are. This town does not have much going for it as a destination town which as a seaside resort it has to be. I'm all for real tourist attractions in the town and the only people trying to supply them are the stockvale group. Southend should be the first choice for day and weekend trippers from london, but sadly it is not because after you have found somewhere to park at great expense, seen the pier (no point walking to the end of it) wasted money in the arcades been to adventure island (stockvale) the current aquarium (stockvale) and sat on a manky peice of beach you go home. Anything that increases appeal has got to be good.. Also i'm sure the business plan was drawn up to include both lagoon and increased aquarium and one might not be viable without the other ..rather than blackmail and the throwing out of toys
What a joke this council, julian lane ware and many on here are. This town does not have much going for it as a destination town which as a seaside resort it has to be. I'm all for real tourist attractions in the town and the only people trying to supply them are the stockvale group. Southend should be the first choice for day and weekend trippers from london, but sadly it is not because after you have found somewhere to park at great expense, seen the pier (no point walking to the end of it) wasted money in the arcades been to adventure island (stockvale) the current aquarium (stockvale) and sat on a manky peice of beach you go home. Anything that increases appeal has got to be good.. Also i'm sure the business plan was drawn up to include both lagoon and increased aquarium and one might not be viable without the other ..rather than blackmail and the throwing out of toys whateverhappened
  • Score: 2

12:55pm Wed 16 Apr 14

emcee says...

Quote Julian Ware-Lane, Labour councillor for Milton "... the lagoon would turn Southend into a “plastic Marbella” ...
... "I would rather it was scuppered by the will of the council, rather than the petulance of a developer."
"It sounds as if Stockvale is saying ‘unless you give us everything, we aren’t going to give you anything’"
“It smacks of trying to hold the council to ransom.”

-

Far be it for me to agree with a Labour Councillor but these comments are spot on.
What we see here is the Stockvale Group laid bare.

The whole town's development strategy (as with most other councils) is based on a thin seperation from bribery and corruption.
"I will only allow it if you do that or pay this"
or
"I am not doing this if I can't do the other".
Quote Julian Ware-Lane, Labour councillor for Milton "... the lagoon would turn Southend into a “plastic Marbella” ... ... "I would rather it was scuppered by the will of the council, rather than the petulance of a developer." "It sounds as if Stockvale is saying ‘unless you give us everything, we aren’t going to give you anything’" “It smacks of trying to hold the council to ransom.” - Far be it for me to agree with a Labour Councillor but these comments are spot on. What we see here is the Stockvale Group laid bare. The whole town's development strategy (as with most other councils) is based on a thin seperation from bribery and corruption. "I will only allow it if you do that or pay this" or "I am not doing this if I can't do the other". emcee
  • Score: 29

1:03pm Wed 16 Apr 14

emcee says...

whateverhappened wrote:
What a joke this council, julian lane ware and many on here are. This town does not have much going for it as a destination town which as a seaside resort it has to be. I'm all for real tourist attractions in the town and the only people trying to supply them are the stockvale group. Southend should be the first choice for day and weekend trippers from london, but sadly it is not because after you have found somewhere to park at great expense, seen the pier (no point walking to the end of it) wasted money in the arcades been to adventure island (stockvale) the current aquarium (stockvale) and sat on a manky peice of beach you go home. Anything that increases appeal has got to be good.. Also i'm sure the business plan was drawn up to include both lagoon and increased aquarium and one might not be viable without the other ..rather than blackmail and the throwing out of toys
The council ruined this town over the years by removing it's identity and heritage. It now tries to clutch at straws, at the cheapest expense, to try and claw back some of the towns once thriving reputaion.
The way things are, with too little money spent, lack of real foresight and too much reliance on greedy developers, Southend has very little chance of being as great as it once was.
[quote][p][bold]whateverhappened[/bold] wrote: What a joke this council, julian lane ware and many on here are. This town does not have much going for it as a destination town which as a seaside resort it has to be. I'm all for real tourist attractions in the town and the only people trying to supply them are the stockvale group. Southend should be the first choice for day and weekend trippers from london, but sadly it is not because after you have found somewhere to park at great expense, seen the pier (no point walking to the end of it) wasted money in the arcades been to adventure island (stockvale) the current aquarium (stockvale) and sat on a manky peice of beach you go home. Anything that increases appeal has got to be good.. Also i'm sure the business plan was drawn up to include both lagoon and increased aquarium and one might not be viable without the other ..rather than blackmail and the throwing out of toys[/p][/quote]The council ruined this town over the years by removing it's identity and heritage. It now tries to clutch at straws, at the cheapest expense, to try and claw back some of the towns once thriving reputaion. The way things are, with too little money spent, lack of real foresight and too much reliance on greedy developers, Southend has very little chance of being as great as it once was. emcee
  • Score: 14

1:10pm Wed 16 Apr 14

pembury53 says...

whateverhappened wrote:
What a joke this council, julian lane ware and many on here are. This town does not have much going for it as a destination town which as a seaside resort it has to be. I'm all for real tourist attractions in the town and the only people trying to supply them are the stockvale group. Southend should be the first choice for day and weekend trippers from london, but sadly it is not because after you have found somewhere to park at great expense, seen the pier (no point walking to the end of it) wasted money in the arcades been to adventure island (stockvale) the current aquarium (stockvale) and sat on a manky peice of beach you go home. Anything that increases appeal has got to be good.. Also i'm sure the business plan was drawn up to include both lagoon and increased aquarium and one might not be viable without the other ..rather than blackmail and the throwing out of toys
despite your assessment of sarfend being reasonably accurate, it doesn't seem to much deter the aforementioned 'day tripper' like so many keep griping on about..... the sun shone for an hour or two a few weeks back, and the queue of traffic trying to get in was past chalkwell park ! no idea where the town ranks with londoners, but given that we were still in february, i would say it's popular enough, and height of summer it's packed, by any measure...... if investment is needed, start with some infastructure, like parking, as you point out, not plastic paddling pools that hardly enhance the towns image....
[quote][p][bold]whateverhappened[/bold] wrote: What a joke this council, julian lane ware and many on here are. This town does not have much going for it as a destination town which as a seaside resort it has to be. I'm all for real tourist attractions in the town and the only people trying to supply them are the stockvale group. Southend should be the first choice for day and weekend trippers from london, but sadly it is not because after you have found somewhere to park at great expense, seen the pier (no point walking to the end of it) wasted money in the arcades been to adventure island (stockvale) the current aquarium (stockvale) and sat on a manky peice of beach you go home. Anything that increases appeal has got to be good.. Also i'm sure the business plan was drawn up to include both lagoon and increased aquarium and one might not be viable without the other ..rather than blackmail and the throwing out of toys[/p][/quote]despite your assessment of sarfend being reasonably accurate, it doesn't seem to much deter the aforementioned 'day tripper' like so many keep griping on about..... the sun shone for an hour or two a few weeks back, and the queue of traffic trying to get in was past chalkwell park ! no idea where the town ranks with londoners, but given that we were still in february, i would say it's popular enough, and height of summer it's packed, by any measure...... if investment is needed, start with some infastructure, like parking, as you point out, not plastic paddling pools that hardly enhance the towns image.... pembury53
  • Score: 21

2:45pm Wed 16 Apr 14

whateverhappened says...

A clean safe water area when the tide is out would be great..as would a large well stocked aquarium, personally i would like to see a water park like the one in promanade park, maldon. Infastructure is behond the council as the new roads we need are a goverment issue and to be fare it is no easier or cheaper to park in brigton than in southend. If the money has to come from stockvale, billy butlins or ron martin then so be it if the council don't see fit to invest....or invest so badly we have a cultural center at the end of the pier rather than roller coasters and speed boats
A clean safe water area when the tide is out would be great..as would a large well stocked aquarium, personally i would like to see a water park like the one in promanade park, maldon. Infastructure is behond the council as the new roads we need are a goverment issue and to be fare it is no easier or cheaper to park in brigton than in southend. If the money has to come from stockvale, billy butlins or ron martin then so be it if the council don't see fit to invest....or invest so badly we have a cultural center at the end of the pier rather than roller coasters and speed boats whateverhappened
  • Score: 1

3:12pm Wed 16 Apr 14

CarnMountification says...

Oh well, maybe next year, or leave it on the shelf, along with the airshow and that failed marina plan, all pie in the sky ideas, during a time when the so called jewel - Southend pier languishes in a time freeze, of nothing...
Oh well, maybe next year, or leave it on the shelf, along with the airshow and that failed marina plan, all pie in the sky ideas, during a time when the so called jewel - Southend pier languishes in a time freeze, of nothing... CarnMountification
  • Score: 17

5:34pm Wed 16 Apr 14

John Bull 40 says...

We can all go back to sleep now, how dare people try to improve Southend
get rid of adventure island and bring back that murky boating pool and keep
the local moaners happy.
We can all go back to sleep now, how dare people try to improve Southend get rid of adventure island and bring back that murky boating pool and keep the local moaners happy. John Bull 40
  • Score: 1

6:50pm Wed 16 Apr 14

the25man says...

The Sea Life plans are deferred not refused by the Council so Stockvale have deferred there plans for the lagoon.
The plans I have seen for the Sea Life Centre are quite a bit in your face so if toned down I'm quite sure they will go through.
The Sea Life plans are deferred not refused by the Council so Stockvale have deferred there plans for the lagoon. The plans I have seen for the Sea Life Centre are quite a bit in your face so if toned down I'm quite sure they will go through. the25man
  • Score: 0

9:13pm Wed 16 Apr 14

DogsMessInLeigh says...

John Bull 40 wrote:
We can all go back to sleep now, how dare people try to improve Southend
get rid of adventure island and bring back that murky boating pool and keep
the local moaners happy.
and the wax works and Golden Hind if you please.
[quote][p][bold]John Bull 40[/bold] wrote: We can all go back to sleep now, how dare people try to improve Southend get rid of adventure island and bring back that murky boating pool and keep the local moaners happy.[/p][/quote]and the wax works and Golden Hind if you please. DogsMessInLeigh
  • Score: 26

9:32pm Wed 16 Apr 14

poortaxpayer says...

I would have sharks in the lagoon and we can feed them our politicians one at a time. I would pay good money to see David Ames or Nigel Holdcroft ripped apart and eaten.
I would have sharks in the lagoon and we can feed them our politicians one at a time. I would pay good money to see David Ames or Nigel Holdcroft ripped apart and eaten. poortaxpayer
  • Score: 1

10:53pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Joe Clark says...

the25man wrote:
The Sea Life plans are deferred not refused by the Council so Stockvale have deferred there plans for the lagoon.
The plans I have seen for the Sea Life Centre are quite a bit in your face so if toned down I'm quite sure they will go through.
Why not create a fisherman's cottage style frontage mirroring those opposite would look like a road lined with the same style buildings then.
[quote][p][bold]the25man[/bold] wrote: The Sea Life plans are deferred not refused by the Council so Stockvale have deferred there plans for the lagoon. The plans I have seen for the Sea Life Centre are quite a bit in your face so if toned down I'm quite sure they will go through.[/p][/quote]Why not create a fisherman's cottage style frontage mirroring those opposite would look like a road lined with the same style buildings then. Joe Clark
  • Score: 9

10:12am Thu 17 Apr 14

pembury53 says...

CarnMountification wrote:
Oh well, maybe next year, or leave it on the shelf, along with the airshow and that failed marina plan, all pie in the sky ideas, during a time when the so called jewel - Southend pier languishes in a time freeze, of nothing...
couldn't agree more, the one true iconic structure the town has to offer, a sad underused relic of it's once victorian splendour.......
[quote][p][bold]CarnMountification[/bold] wrote: Oh well, maybe next year, or leave it on the shelf, along with the airshow and that failed marina plan, all pie in the sky ideas, during a time when the so called jewel - Southend pier languishes in a time freeze, of nothing...[/p][/quote]couldn't agree more, the one true iconic structure the town has to offer, a sad underused relic of it's once victorian splendour....... pembury53
  • Score: 1

8:46pm Sun 20 Apr 14

Life in a seaside town says...

To go back to previous posts. Stockdale are doing all these things to make money for themselves not for the town.
It was first quoted that Stockdale was putting £150k in the lagoon pot, has it now reduced to £100k. It was stated that the lagoon would flush twice a year, not for bathing then !! Who will pay for maintenance, lifeguards etc. This lagoon project cannot be built to any reasonable standard for £1mil. I am not saying that a properly designed, priced and constructed feature is a bad idea but don't jump to early. Let's do it for the town not for cheap commercial profit.
Final comment, yes the statement was blackmail, or is the Stockdale empire is heading towards financial meltdown, and where will that leave our town??
To go back to previous posts. Stockdale are doing all these things to make money for themselves not for the town. It was first quoted that Stockdale was putting £150k in the lagoon pot, has it now reduced to £100k. It was stated that the lagoon would flush twice a year, not for bathing then !! Who will pay for maintenance, lifeguards etc. This lagoon project cannot be built to any reasonable standard for £1mil. I am not saying that a properly designed, priced and constructed feature is a bad idea but don't jump to early. Let's do it for the town not for cheap commercial profit. Final comment, yes the statement was blackmail, or is the Stockdale empire is heading towards financial meltdown, and where will that leave our town?? Life in a seaside town
  • Score: 2

3:06am Mon 28 Apr 14

stevetomlin says...

Once again the planners seem to have forgotten the lessons of history. They seem to have forgotten that the length of Southend seafront was once lined with tidal pools for bathing in when the tide was out.
These pools were breeding grounds for all sorts of illnesses. The singer Ian Drury claimed that he caught Polio at Southend in the fifties.
Now a lagoon is planned but what filtration is going to be used? Yes the Thames is cleaner now but during the recent heavy rains raw sewerage was released in to the river on more than one occasion.
I for one would like to know what steps are being taken to keep us safe from the host of water borne diseases that could be carried in the new lagoon and held there or simply brought by bathers.
Once again the planners seem to have forgotten the lessons of history. They seem to have forgotten that the length of Southend seafront was once lined with tidal pools for bathing in when the tide was out. These pools were breeding grounds for all sorts of illnesses. The singer Ian Drury claimed that he caught Polio at Southend in the fifties. Now a lagoon is planned but what filtration is going to be used? Yes the Thames is cleaner now but during the recent heavy rains raw sewerage was released in to the river on more than one occasion. I for one would like to know what steps are being taken to keep us safe from the host of water borne diseases that could be carried in the new lagoon and held there or simply brought by bathers. stevetomlin
  • Score: 1

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