Fears hundreds of new homes at Fossetts Farm will overwhelm roads and services

The roads of Southend could be swamped by thousands of extra cars if plans for 1,300 homes at Fossetts Farm are signed off, it is feared.

Southend City Council and its financial partners are still mulling over details of the plan which will allow the sale of Southend United to be completed.

Labour leader of the council, Daniel Cowan, has stressed he will not sign off on a deal that could have ramifications for the taxpayers of the city.

And now concerns are being raised over the plan’s potential impact on infrastructure.

Colin Nickless, a member of the Fossetts for the People campaign group, said the impact infrastructure could be problematic.

He added: “This was always a concern with so many new homes being built in such a concentrated area.

“There will be significant impact on already congested roads so the council should be looking to put in cycle paths and extra bus services to accommodate.

“Will local schools be oversubscribed and what mitigation is planned for the influx of new pupils?

“Perhaps the biggest impact will be on already stretched provision of NHS and GP services in the area, at a time when we have seen surgeries closing.”

If the due diligence process around the homes is completed by the council, a planning application will then need to be submitted.

Under previous plans for Fossetts Farm, which included a new Blues stadium, improvements at Eastern Avenue and Sutton Road were proposed, as well as at the Royal Artillery Way and Hamstel Road junction.

Tony Cox, leader of the Conservative Group, and until recently leader of the administration trying to facilitate an agreement, said these issues are still to be finalised.

He added: “That’s all part of the planning where you would secure the S106 agreements for bigger infrastructure. There were junction modifications that had to happen on the original application. That’s still on the table.

“The other aspect would be the education contributions.”

Anne Jones, deputy leader and councillor for housing, highlighted that an outline planning application would be submitted, before a“reserved matters” application followed.

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Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter