9m multi-storey plan for Southend town centre

A 9million multi-storey car park could be built in Southend to kickstart plans for a new development, modelled on the Brighton Lanes.
The proposal has been revealed in Southend Councils latest regeneration plans, in a report to the Governments Homes and Communities Agency.

The location of the multi-storey would be in the Queensway and Southchurch Road area, just a few minutes walk from the High Street.

If the scheme wins funding, it will replace the councils car parks in Alexandra Street and Clarence Road, which were sold to Government regeneration agency English Partnerships four years ago.

This means the redevelopment of the car parks inspired by the famous Brighton shopping area with new shops, cafes, boutiques and homes could finally get under way.

Other car parks in Southend, including those in Tylers Avenue, Warrior Square and Seaway, could also be used in the future for new developments, particularly from private investment.

The council says each site has potential to offer both new homes and employment with shops and offices, with the capacity for 700 homes and nearly 1,000 jobs.

Mark Flewitt, Tory councillor responsible for the boroughs planning and transport, said the plans depend on cash from the Government, which is imposing ma-ssive public sector cuts.

However, insiders believe the multi-storey car park plan could be a priority, to allow English Partnerships to get a financial return on its investment in the Alexandra Street and Clarence Road car parks.

The development proposals for the two car parks have been on ice for three years, since the recession started to bite.

Mr Flewitt said: This is our long term aim, but at the moment plans are really sketchy because we dont know where the funding is coming from.

The council is going to be limited in what it can do and we need to decide when it will happen in the future, because of the recession and budget cuts.

Already, there are changes which will affect these plans, because we have only just got through the budget figures from the Government.

We definitely need residential units regardless and we need a portion of them to be affordable housing.

It would produce more jobs, but we would need a private developer to come in with money to do it. 
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Southend Council
Website
www.southend.gov.uk/
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