New homes at Fossetts Farm will be high end

Mick Ferris
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The majority of the new homes created at Fossetts Farm, Southend, will be high-end apartments and houses with “above average” rents, it has been revealed.

Details of an agreement between outgoing Southend United chairman Ron Martin and Southend City Council will see the upmarket homes leased to the council under a build-to-rent finance scheme.

Fresh documents released ahead of a special council meeting next week have revealed the homes will be rented out by the council at rates “20 per cent higher” than average for Southend.

The development will see 1,311 homes built across three “zones” and includes the 400 homes once destined to be built at Roots Hall.

A previous requirement for 30 per cent of the homes to be classed as affordable has now been slashed to 15 per cent and concerns have been raised the plans are “far from ideal” but are a necessity to help the sale of Southend United on track.

Matt Dent, Kursaal Ward councillor and the Labour Group’s spokesman on housing, said: “It’s incredibly important for the whole city that we reach a deal that will ensure he future of Southend United. I’m not wild about this deal.

“It does feel a bit like a sop to Ron Martin to walk away, but given the circumstances and bearing in mind the Government targets we have for house building I think this is probably something we have to swallow.

“The concerns that are going to be coming through are going to be the usual ones around infrastructure and affordability. Ultimately, I feel if a deal isn’t reached we are back to the prospect of losing Southend United which we are not prepared to countenance.”

Tony Cox, Tory leader of the council, insisted the development is “designed to be high-end”
He said: “It will enable people to rent homes in what will be a high quality development and there is a demand for that type of development.

“It brings in homes for the city and it allows for the release of £20m for the football club and to have ownership of Roots Hall.”

Currently, Zone A will have 911 apartments, Zone B will have 330 homes with 93 per cent houses and Zone C will see 315 new homes built with 70 per cent of them houses.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: mickferris@yellowad.co.uk