Plans approved for Southchurch Park car park revamp

A car park is to be completely resurfaced and have more than 150 bays added to make it easier for parents dropping children at school.

The Southchurch Park East car park, on Lifstan Way, will be resurfaced to remove dangerous potholes and the number of parking bays will increase from 67 to 224.

Of these new spaces, 11 will be dual use that allow coaches to park on them.

The council’s Independent deputy leader, Councillor Ron Woodley, spoke at the meeting and said the focus of the expansion was on providing support to parents dropping their children at school

“At the moment parents are bringing their children to school and parking in what is an extremely potholed car park,” he said.

“It is dangerous, especially in winter and it is muddy. Children are going to school with wet feet and it is not usable.

“If we fail to put this through today we would need to look to close the car park in September because it is too dangerous to allow children to be taken there and dropped at school due to the nature of the car park.

“This proposal is just to resurface the existing car park so it is safe for parents and children.”

But a local resident also spoke at the meeting and said coach parking would be an “eye sore” for the area and would bring problems “Southend Council and the residents don’t need”.

He said: “What we are concerned about is the increase in noise levels and pollution from coaches. We are also concerned that if passengers are coming to Southend and embarking in the parking area after a full day in Southend there could be an increase in anti-social behaviour, drinking or debris being left behind.”

It was stressed by council officers that the coach parking would only be used for “overspill” if the Gas Works car park were to be full during the peak times.

The plans were ultimately approved by the committee but on the condition that electric charge points, which had been missing from the plans, were included.

Councillor David Garston (Con) said: We are going electric and I don’t think it is good enough to just say we have plans for electric charging points.

“This is a permanent car park where we are spending capital money to improve it. We ought to be putting in electric charging points and charging the users for it.”

He added: “It is 2020 electric is coming.”


Steve Shaw

Local Democracy Reporter