CONTROVERSIAL £500m plans to build 1,600 homes in Southend will face NO delays... despite fears they could be shelved.

The Queensway plan had been thrown into doubt after Southend Council deputy leader Ron Woodley stated last month that his administration planned to review them.

The £500 million plan, a joint partnership between the council and Swan Housing, would see the removal of 441 homes across three tower blocks on the existing Queensway estate and 1,600 new homes built including 500 that are affordable.

But yesterday Mr Woodley allayed the fears, declaring the project would face no delays and would be “delivered in a timely manner”.

He said: “We as an administration were always going to propose a few tweaks, mainly [on things] we would like to ask about, as we have concerns about the level of affordable housing. You can never have enough affordable houses.

“We want to make the plans the best they can be. But we completely believe that these alterations will not cause any delays and that the development will be delivered in a timely manner.”

Mr Woodley added he and council boss Ian Gilbert would be meeting with Swan Housing to go over the plans.

The deputy leader’s comments come as Tory councillor David Garston submitted a motion to go before a meeting of full council next week stating any more delays would jeopardise the partnership with Swan Housing.

He warned: “It’s putting out the wrong message. We want Southend to be good for doing business and providing housing and the Queensway project will be good for that. We don’t want to put the breaks on; it’s taken a long time to get to this position and the last thing we need is delays.

“If we review the plans now that we have a partner it could result in problems, as residents need somewhere to live, and this can provide that.

“To go back and review the plans after so long is completely unnecessary.”

Mr Garston proposed the motion along with fellow Tory Meg Davidson to fully support Swan Housing in completing the project and to deliver updates at least twice a year to members.

It was seconded by 16 other councillors.

The Queensway development still faces opposition in Southend, however.

James Vessey-Miller, chairman of South East Essex Green Party, said the new homes will put people off visiting the town.

He said: “We’re talking about ten years’ worth of traffic chaos with road changes which will have a huge impact on all of Southend.

“It’s going to literally bring the town to a standstill, a town that heavily relies on our seafront trade. All of this construction is simply going to put people off from visiting. It will have a huge impact on the economy of the area as a whole.”