EXCLUSIVE: Hospice signs deal over old Ekco site

Southend Standard: Great news - green belt campaigners Sally Edwards, and Mike King outside site where new hospice will be built Great news - green belt campaigners Sally Edwards, and Mike King outside site where new hospice will be built

MORE than 150 homes and a new multi-million pound hospice are set for prime land at the heart of Southend now a charity and a developer have finally reached a deal.

After eight months of talks, Havens Hospices has signed a deal with housebuilder Bellway Homes for a joint development on the former Ekco factory site, in Priory Crescent, the Echo can reveal.

Plans for the 16-bedroom hospice, between 150 and 180 “highquality”

homes and an office block will be submitted to Southend Council later this year.

A joint statement released exclusively to the Echo, stated: “Bellway Homes and Havens Hospices have entered into an agreement, subject to contract, to progress plans for an adult hospice to formpart of the development of the former Ekco site.

“We are delighted to be working together and will now begin to progress plans for the development of the site before submitting an application to Southend Council later in the year.”

The deal means Havens Hospices’ original controversial plan for a £15million facility on green belt land off Belton Way West, Leigh, has been dropped – to the delight of campaigners.

Mike King, chairman of Save Our Greenbelt, said: “It’s excellent news. Put the flags up, it is absolutely magnificent.”

Caroline Parker, chairman of Leigh Town Council, which opposed the Belton Way West Plan, said: “We are absolutely delighted with this outcome.”

The Echo revealed last month the new adult hospice, which would create an additional 90 paid and voluntary roles, would have significantly larger day care and treatment facilities than the current Fair Havens hospice, in Second Avenue, Chalkwell.

Bellway Homes, which the Echo understands is planning no affordable housing for the 20- acre former Prittlebrook Industrial Estate site, will build a small office block facing Priory Crescent, to appease councillors’ concerns over the loss of employment land.

Council leader Nigel Holdcroft said: “Obviously this is excellent news. Fair Havens does a great job but is hampered by the physical restrictions imposed by its current premises so I am delighted that their search for a new location has been successful.”

YEARS OF SEARCHING

Havens Hospices has been trying for years to find a site for a new adult 16-bed hospice.

Fair Havens hospice, in Second Avenue, Chalkwell, is not fit for purpose as it does not have a lift, yet most of its bedrooms are upstairs and there is a need for more beds.

In 2011, the charity looked at 212 sites across Southend, Rochford and Castle Point, including the Ekco site.

Plans were first submitted in autumn 2011 for a hospice with offices on Belton Hills, Belton Way West, Leigh.

Many voiced their opposition to the idea of building on a green belt site although a petition in support of the application attracted 17,000 names.

Southend Council planning officers recommended it for refusal and it was withdrawn in December 2011.

In March 2012, Havens registered its interest in the Ekco site, but that was dropped after owners Aviva spoke with others.

Re-drafted plans for Belton Hills were submitted in August 2012, but they were rejected by councillors in October 2012.

Havens appealed against the refusal in November 2012 and a date for an eight-day hearing was set for last June. The charity and council sought a last-minute deferral to give the hospice four months to talk with Bellway Homes and Havens dropped its appeal.

The Echo revealed last month the parties were hopeful of a deal – despite still being £400,000 apart in their valuation of Havens Hospices’ contribution for the land sale.

It is believed Bellway has been in negotiations with Aviva to buy the Ekco site.

Comments (14)

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9:56am Tue 25 Feb 14

carnmountyouknowitmakessense says...

Lovely location, being right over the road from Priory park, only hope there is sufficient parking
Lovely location, being right over the road from Priory park, only hope there is sufficient parking carnmountyouknowitmakessense

9:59am Tue 25 Feb 14

mikey-leigh says...

The caption should read "Great news - now it's being situated nowhere near us."
The caption should read "Great news - now it's being situated nowhere near us." mikey-leigh

10:05am Tue 25 Feb 14

the citizen says...

Is this the best the Echo could do? A photo opportunity with a Mr & Mrs "We're Looking Smug" shot...what an appalling way to celebrate good news! Rather than focus on what good news this for the town and what means for people who are ill and their families who need such a work as Fair Havens the Echo trots out the very people who were quite vitriolic about the charity's aims and ambitions - because it was on their turf (where their houses were built on open green fields). An embarrassment to the Echo when it could have been announced in such a positive way too. Shame on you Echo!
Is this the best the Echo could do? A photo opportunity with a Mr & Mrs "We're Looking Smug" shot...what an appalling way to celebrate good news! Rather than focus on what good news this for the town and what means for people who are ill and their families who need such a work as Fair Havens the Echo trots out the very people who were quite vitriolic about the charity's aims and ambitions - because it was on their turf (where their houses were built on open green fields). An embarrassment to the Echo when it could have been announced in such a positive way too. Shame on you Echo! the citizen

10:10am Tue 25 Feb 14

John T Pharro says...

"To the delight of the greenbelt campaigners". Just don't forget as the hospice is built elsewhere that means less housing on that site. Don't be surprised if housing is now proposed on the Belton Way site.
On the Castle Point Borough plan, just released there is a proposal to build on the Glebeland's (green belt) site which was rejected by Mr Pickles's Government Department a few weeks prior to the release of the plan and houses at Jotman's Lane refused development by Castle Point Council. You would have thought neither of these would be on the Borough Plan, but they are, probably because there is nowhere else to build them. So until Government's of all every Political persuasion stop dictating housing requirements to local Councils it will never change.
"To the delight of the greenbelt campaigners". Just don't forget as the hospice is built elsewhere that means less housing on that site. Don't be surprised if housing is now proposed on the Belton Way site. On the Castle Point Borough plan, just released there is a proposal to build on the Glebeland's (green belt) site which was rejected by Mr Pickles's Government Department a few weeks prior to the release of the plan and houses at Jotman's Lane refused development by Castle Point Council. You would have thought neither of these would be on the Borough Plan, but they are, probably because there is nowhere else to build them. So until Government's of all every Political persuasion stop dictating housing requirements to local Councils it will never change. John T Pharro

10:26am Tue 25 Feb 14

mthraves says...

It would be nice if a statue of EK Cole could be erected on the site as it's the location of his factory and would be a lasting memory to one of our towns biggest employers.
It would be nice if a statue of EK Cole could be erected on the site as it's the location of his factory and would be a lasting memory to one of our towns biggest employers. mthraves

11:13am Tue 25 Feb 14

scrounger‎ says...

Like we need an office block.
Like we need an office block. scrounger‎

12:01pm Tue 25 Feb 14

andyh says...

I wonder if Bellway can design an office block that is convertable (at low cost) into "affordable" apartments when no office tenants appear and all the "high quality" (expensive) chcken hutches have been sold.
I wonder if Bellway can design an office block that is convertable (at low cost) into "affordable" apartments when no office tenants appear and all the "high quality" (expensive) chcken hutches have been sold. andyh

12:59pm Tue 25 Feb 14

pembury53 says...

John T Pharro wrote:
"To the delight of the greenbelt campaigners". Just don't forget as the hospice is built elsewhere that means less housing on that site. Don't be surprised if housing is now proposed on the Belton Way site. On the Castle Point Borough plan, just released there is a proposal to build on the Glebeland's (green belt) site which was rejected by Mr Pickles's Government Department a few weeks prior to the release of the plan and houses at Jotman's Lane refused development by Castle Point Council. You would have thought neither of these would be on the Borough Plan, but they are, probably because there is nowhere else to build them. So until Government's of all every Political persuasion stop dictating housing requirements to local Councils it will never change.
that's a valid point since the local councils will be forced, eventually, to build their allocation of new homes, having failed to submit adequate proposals..... most if not all will end up on the so called 'green belt' that so many mistakenly believe enjoys some special protected status......
[quote][p][bold]John T Pharro[/bold] wrote: "To the delight of the greenbelt campaigners". Just don't forget as the hospice is built elsewhere that means less housing on that site. Don't be surprised if housing is now proposed on the Belton Way site. On the Castle Point Borough plan, just released there is a proposal to build on the Glebeland's (green belt) site which was rejected by Mr Pickles's Government Department a few weeks prior to the release of the plan and houses at Jotman's Lane refused development by Castle Point Council. You would have thought neither of these would be on the Borough Plan, but they are, probably because there is nowhere else to build them. So until Government's of all every Political persuasion stop dictating housing requirements to local Councils it will never change.[/p][/quote]that's a valid point since the local councils will be forced, eventually, to build their allocation of new homes, having failed to submit adequate proposals..... most if not all will end up on the so called 'green belt' that so many mistakenly believe enjoys some special protected status...... pembury53

3:11pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Sweet P says...

Make the eyesore that is Victoria Avenue into low cost affordable homes.
Make the eyesore that is Victoria Avenue into low cost affordable homes. Sweet P

4:17pm Tue 25 Feb 14

carnmountyouknowitmakessense says...

With the new Pub the Saxon Prince next door, be great for visiting the infirm...
With the new Pub the Saxon Prince next door, be great for visiting the infirm... carnmountyouknowitmakessense

4:27pm Tue 25 Feb 14

John Bull 40 says...

At least havens will be overwhelmed with donations, from all those people
who would not donate if it was built anywhere near them. Or will it? perhaps
not.
At least havens will be overwhelmed with donations, from all those people who would not donate if it was built anywhere near them. Or will it? perhaps not. John Bull 40

4:54pm Tue 25 Feb 14

jolllyboy says...

No I will not resume donations. The Hospice managers wasted money instead of using it for what it was donated. Plus the building on the site should be for social housing not so called affordable. We have a great need here. - Maybe one bedroom places since that need has been caused through the bedroom tax. We dont want an office block
No I will not resume donations. The Hospice managers wasted money instead of using it for what it was donated. Plus the building on the site should be for social housing not so called affordable. We have a great need here. - Maybe one bedroom places since that need has been caused through the bedroom tax. We dont want an office block jolllyboy

5:56pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Joe Clark says...

jolllyboy wrote:
No I will not resume donations. The Hospice managers wasted money instead of using it for what it was donated. Plus the building on the site should be for social housing not so called affordable. We have a great need here. - Maybe one bedroom places since that need has been caused through the bedroom tax. We dont want an office block
The money "wasted" as you put it was from a fund specially set up for the project, the people donating to the fund knew how it was to be spent and donated to help the hospice move to a new home.
[quote][p][bold]jolllyboy[/bold] wrote: No I will not resume donations. The Hospice managers wasted money instead of using it for what it was donated. Plus the building on the site should be for social housing not so called affordable. We have a great need here. - Maybe one bedroom places since that need has been caused through the bedroom tax. We dont want an office block[/p][/quote]The money "wasted" as you put it was from a fund specially set up for the project, the people donating to the fund knew how it was to be spent and donated to help the hospice move to a new home. Joe Clark

10:50am Wed 26 Feb 14

CHRISTMAS CAROL says...

Fairhavens Hospice was fit for purpose for the 3 people that I loved and passed away ther.e Good luck to them and I do hope their new site will not take too long to build as it is desperately needed. THANK YOU FAIRHAVENS HOSPICE. FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART.
Fairhavens Hospice was fit for purpose for the 3 people that I loved and passed away ther.e Good luck to them and I do hope their new site will not take too long to build as it is desperately needed. THANK YOU FAIRHAVENS HOSPICE. FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART. CHRISTMAS CAROL

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