Former Eastwood Co-op store to be demolished and replaced with flats

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A developer is hoping to knock down a building once occupied by the Co-op and replace it with a three-storey block of flats.

A planning application to redevelop the building on Rayleigh Road in Eastwood has been submitted to Southend Council and it includes nine flats, as well as commercial space for two shops on the ground floor.

It is the second time the developer has attempted to obtain planning permission after a previous attempt was refused in October last year due to serious concerns about the risk of flooding and the “excessive size, scale and bulk” of the proposed building.

The new plans from Fresh Architecture Ltd stresses that the flats would be “above flood levels at first floor” and explains the developer has addressed several of the concerns by making changes to the proposed design, including reducing its size.

Planning documents note that initial plans sought to create larger flats which “improve living conditions” but these have been reduced to be “closer to national minimums”.

The documents add: “This has allowed proposals to be reduced in line with national guidance and to achieve a condensed footprint to reduced mass and bulk while retaining the same number of apartments.”

Following the refusal of the initial plans, Paul Collins, Liberal Democrat councillor for Eastwood Park, said residents had been in support of the apartments and were disappointed with the refusal.

He said: “It’s been left derelict for years. We welcomed the addition.

“We’re happy to have investment in the area, as long as it’s up to scratch. We all want to see something there.”

The councillor added that the Co-op moved out of the store sometime in 2014. It was then occupied by a McColls newsagent for two years before that shut down and it has remained empty ever since.

Councillors will discuss whether to grant planning permission at a future Development Control Committee meeting.

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]

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