Discussions to begin on purchase of Queensway properties

Discussions are set to be begin between residents and Southend Council over the compulsory purchase of Queensway properties.

Residents in tower blocks set for demolition within the £575million Queensway regeneration scheme have been asked to submit details of their homes within the next two weeks.

Homeowners will be given the chance to come to a financial agreement with the council but if not their properties will be compulsory purchased.

The scheme will see 1,700 new homes built in the heart of Southend.

The underpass will be filled in and raised to ground level and a four lane tree-lined boulevard will carry traffic east to west.

Once the resident survey is completed councillors will discuss the orders before it is sent to Government for final approval.

Mike Smith, 72, of the Malvern tower block, said: “Some of the leaseholders don’t live in the flats like I do so it’s different for some. We have to send the forms back giving our details within 14 days then we just have to wait. It doesn’t mean we are moving straight away.

“I’ve got no idea when we move out. For me it’s about finding the right flat. I’m hoping they will offer me something similar.”

Ian Gilbert, leader of the council, said “Our team are very much looking forward to meeting with Queensway residents to update them face to face on all the work that has been put in over the last 18 months.

“A key workstream for our team currently is identifying everyone who has a legal interest in the Queensway Estate and areas included in the regeneration, so we can ensure that we speak to all those affected.

“This will involve us issuing formal questionnaires to establish property interests over the coming weeks and we would encourage everyone who receives one of these notices to return it to us as soon as possible, so that we can ensure we are engaging effectively with everyone we need to.”

The scheme will see residents relocated away from one block into a new flat before the block is bulldozed. Quantock, Chiltern, Malvern and Pennine tower blocks and maisonettes fronting Sutton Road will be demolished.

Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter