Eyesore tower blocks could be demolished in 18 months

Cllr Ian Gilbert outside the blocks

Cllr Ian Gilbert outside the blocks

First published in Southend Exclusive by

TWO eyesore office blocks which have blighted Southend for over a decade could be flattened within 18 months.

Southend Council is stepping up its efforts to finally clear Victoria Avenue of the Carby and Heath buildings.

Councillors have called an emergency series of meetings next month to push through plans to use special powers to take control of the buildings.

The Echo understands the move could cost £4million.

On September 2, the council will vote on whether to use compulsory purchase orders to buy the buildings.

It comes after talks to buy them failed, leaving the authority no choice but to pursue other routes.

Labour’s Ian Gilbert, who represents Victoria ward and is also deputy leader of the council, said: “While we will continue to try to negotiate with the landowners ahead of these meetings and before any decisions, we have got to the stage where we must take firm action on what is an eyesore for the town.

“Using compulsory purchase orders is long and complex and it could take at least 18 months to two years and beyond to go through the legal process, so it’s important we get the ball rolling at the earliest opportunity.

“Having control of this land would provide a wonderful opportunity for the council and the local community for the major transformation of this area.

“Action is well overdue and I’m pleased we’re getting on with things.”

The Echo understands the process will involve the council serving the owners of the buildings – believed to be an offshore company – legal papers which they can either accept or take through the courts.

The authority would have to pay the land value, plus compensation.

Councillors believe the dilapidated buildings are putting businesses off investing in the town.

David Burch, from the Essex Chambers of Commerce, said: “We welcome this action as it means getting rid of an eyesore from the site and anything that can be done to speed up the process will be welcomed.”

Comments (13)

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12:34pm Mon 18 Aug 14

SARFENDMAN says...

Strange how thing turn full circle as remember all the hype as Southend wanted to become the office centre of the SE and encouraged the wholesale destruction of the Edwardian house, tree lined approach of Victoria Avenue. Now nobody stand the sight of them and want them gone asap. I wonder what will replace?
Strange how thing turn full circle as remember all the hype as Southend wanted to become the office centre of the SE and encouraged the wholesale destruction of the Edwardian house, tree lined approach of Victoria Avenue. Now nobody stand the sight of them and want them gone asap. I wonder what will replace? SARFENDMAN
  • Score: 21

12:39pm Mon 18 Aug 14

Howard Cháse says...

Emphasis on the 'could'.

Lets wait and see.....
Emphasis on the 'could'. Lets wait and see..... Howard Cháse
  • Score: 10

12:47pm Mon 18 Aug 14

GrumpyofLeigh says...

I agree; they werent an eyesore when stuffed full of workers (or then again....)
I agree; they werent an eyesore when stuffed full of workers (or then again....) GrumpyofLeigh
  • Score: 9

1:32pm Mon 18 Aug 14

emcee says...

18 months or longer? Are they having a laugh? Only in the UK does "due process" take so long. Surely someone has worked out a compulsory purchase system by now so why does it need to take so long?
Because someone somewhere is always dragging their feet, that's why.

In the meantime Southend becomes slummier and slummier.
18 months or longer? Are they having a laugh? Only in the UK does "due process" take so long. Surely someone has worked out a compulsory purchase system by now so why does it need to take so long? Because someone somewhere is always dragging their feet, that's why. In the meantime Southend becomes slummier and slummier. emcee
  • Score: 17

1:41pm Mon 18 Aug 14

sesibollox says...

Prime real estate...
Prime real estate... sesibollox
  • Score: 8

4:41pm Mon 18 Aug 14

beppo1 says...

How nice for Southend....the sites could be concreted over to make another 'communal' space!!
How nice for Southend....the sites could be concreted over to make another 'communal' space!! beppo1
  • Score: 4

4:42pm Mon 18 Aug 14

runwellian says...

SARFENDMAN wrote:
Strange how thing turn full circle as remember all the hype as Southend wanted to become the office centre of the SE and encouraged the wholesale destruction of the Edwardian house, tree lined approach of Victoria Avenue. Now nobody stand the sight of them and want them gone asap. I wonder what will replace?
Brothels and drug dens!
[quote][p][bold]SARFENDMAN[/bold] wrote: Strange how thing turn full circle as remember all the hype as Southend wanted to become the office centre of the SE and encouraged the wholesale destruction of the Edwardian house, tree lined approach of Victoria Avenue. Now nobody stand the sight of them and want them gone asap. I wonder what will replace?[/p][/quote]Brothels and drug dens! runwellian
  • Score: -1

4:44pm Mon 18 Aug 14

runwellian says...

Remember this is David A-Mess's second city of culture, he should get his eyes tested!
Remember this is David A-Mess's second city of culture, he should get his eyes tested! runwellian
  • Score: 6

6:15pm Mon 18 Aug 14

Bosniavet says...

runwellian wrote:
SARFENDMAN wrote:
Strange how thing turn full circle as remember all the hype as Southend wanted to become the office centre of the SE and encouraged the wholesale destruction of the Edwardian house, tree lined approach of Victoria Avenue. Now nobody stand the sight of them and want them gone asap. I wonder what will replace?
Brothels and drug dens!
No, too close to the Civic Centre & Police HQ - they wouldn't be able to claim it wasn't happening..........
[quote][p][bold]runwellian[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]SARFENDMAN[/bold] wrote: Strange how thing turn full circle as remember all the hype as Southend wanted to become the office centre of the SE and encouraged the wholesale destruction of the Edwardian house, tree lined approach of Victoria Avenue. Now nobody stand the sight of them and want them gone asap. I wonder what will replace?[/p][/quote]Brothels and drug dens![/p][/quote]No, too close to the Civic Centre & Police HQ - they wouldn't be able to claim it wasn't happening.......... Bosniavet
  • Score: 4

6:25pm Mon 18 Aug 14

Alice in Her Own Land :P says...

There will be another almighty carpark in the space provided after the demolition. That's what's happened on the former Queensway site opposite Vic Circus - anything to make money out of shoppers.
There will be another almighty carpark in the space provided after the demolition. That's what's happened on the former Queensway site opposite Vic Circus - anything to make money out of shoppers. Alice in Her Own Land :P
  • Score: 3

6:26pm Mon 18 Aug 14

ThisYear says...

emcee wrote:
18 months or longer? Are they having a laugh? Only in the UK does "due process" take so long. Surely someone has worked out a compulsory purchase system by now so why does it need to take so long?
Because someone somewhere is always dragging their feet, that's why.

In the meantime Southend becomes slummier and slummier.
Perhaps 'consultation' with those who apply for the tender takes a long time..ie meetings in spas and 5 star hotels with all expenses thrown in..with tickets for popular shows etc..not to mention the ordering of brown envelopes..( I said not to mention them)
[quote][p][bold]emcee[/bold] wrote: 18 months or longer? Are they having a laugh? Only in the UK does "due process" take so long. Surely someone has worked out a compulsory purchase system by now so why does it need to take so long? Because someone somewhere is always dragging their feet, that's why. In the meantime Southend becomes slummier and slummier.[/p][/quote]Perhaps 'consultation' with those who apply for the tender takes a long time..ie meetings in spas and 5 star hotels with all expenses thrown in..with tickets for popular shows etc..not to mention the ordering of brown envelopes..( I said not to mention them) ThisYear
  • Score: 16

7:32pm Mon 18 Aug 14

CHRISTMAS CAROL says...

I am so sorry I remember Victoria Avenue when they had the good old houses, then the office blocks, full of workers earning a crust, then the cold winds came and everything changed. Now we must move on , get rid of them asap
I am so sorry I remember Victoria Avenue when they had the good old houses, then the office blocks, full of workers earning a crust, then the cold winds came and everything changed. Now we must move on , get rid of them asap CHRISTMAS CAROL
  • Score: 14

7:58am Tue 19 Aug 14

CHRISTMAS CAROL says...

beppo1 wrote:
How nice for Southend....the sites could be concreted over to make another 'communal' space!!
With no seating for the elderly
[quote][p][bold]beppo1[/bold] wrote: How nice for Southend....the sites could be concreted over to make another 'communal' space!![/p][/quote]With no seating for the elderly CHRISTMAS CAROL
  • Score: 2

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