CAMPAIGNERS are set to launch a last-ditch bid to stall the £500million Queensway development.

Ron Woodley, leader of the Southend Independent group, will urge the Government’s communities boss James Brokenshire to veto the redevelopment plans in Southend town centre, which he says will lead to the loss of more than 400 social housing homes.

Southend Council will move out social housing tenants in Queensway during the redevelopment which will create 1,650 new homes.

The tenants have been assured they will be able to return to their council homes under their current terms if they wish to.

However, concerns have been raised once they die or move away and relinquish their council properties, the properties will no longer be classed as social housing but rather ‘affordable’ homes based on much higher private rents under the local housing allowance.

Mr Woodley said: “It is planned that there will be a total of 1,650 homes, in high rise buildings, with 1,150 being available for market rent or to purchase.

“Currently, on this site, there are 441 council properties

“The families moving back into the area will be the only ones paying social rent. However, as any of the properties become vacant, they will only be let out under the local housing allowance, not social rent conditions.”

Mr Woodley added: “The council has not yet asked for permission to remove the social housing from the Queensway

“I shall be writing to the Secretary of State urging him not to accept the removal of 441 social housing homes.”

A Southend Council spokesman, said: “There is an order in which things must be done, and at this point in time there is no Secretary of State approval to be obtained because the scheme has not yet been developed, finalised or submitted for planning consent.

He added: “The approval of the Secretary of State will be applied for at the appropriate time and securing it will be a contractual condition.”