More money set aside for Queensway regeneration

An extra £3.6million could be spent on the £500million Queensway regeneration to buy up the leases on existing properties and bring in a dedicated project management team.

Southend Council’s ambitious plans to regenerate the Queensway tower blocks and create up to 1,650 new homes could get extra funding in a budget which is due to be approved at the end of February.

The £3.6million allocated to the scheme will be spent over two years and includes spending £2.6million on buying up leaseholds so that the tower blocks can be demolished.

While Southend Council is the freeholder, council leader Councillor Ian Gilbert said leaseholds have been sold to a number of tenants through the right to buy scheme.

The money from the leasehold purchases will later be reimbursed by Porter’s Place – the development company which has been formed between the council and Swan Housing.

Another £1million will go towards an external advisory team, which will help the council to “meet the necessarily tight deadlines to keep the project to programme”.

Mr Gilbert said he expects the final plans for the scheme to be published by the end of March.

The budget will be discussed at a cabinet meeting on January 16 before being approved at the end of February.

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Steve Shaw

Local Democracy Reporter