Proposal to build flats above Wimpey on Southend seafront

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Plans for nine flats on top of the Wimpy restaurant on Southend seafront are being recommended for approval despite opposition.

Developers want to demolish the existing floors above the Wimpy in Marine Parade and build three storeys, including the loft space.

The rear of the upper floors will be extended out from the ground floor building to accommodate terraces and balconies.

The proposal will mean the loss of a commercial unit on the first floor and the currently empty ground floor unit will be made smaller.

The scheme will be a mix of three studio flats, five one-bedroom flat and one two-bedroom flat.

The council received six responses to a public consultation, with concerns including loss of light for nearby Jubilee cottages, the overbearing height of the building and parking provision.

Residents also expressed concerns access routes for emergency vehicles and pollution during construction.

Planning officers said the concerns were not justifiable reasons for recommending refusal of the planning application.

Matt Dent, Labour councillor for Kursaal ward, called the application in to be considered by the development control committee. He said: “I called the application in after residents in Jubilee cottages raised concerns about access.

“As a member of the development control committee, I can’t prejudge any decision it may make.”

The site is currently occupied by a part single, part two and part four-storey building. The Wimpy uses the ground floor and the upper floors are partially used by the restaurant and partially as an existing residential unit

A report to Southend’s development control committee said: “the proposed development would be acceptable and compliant with the objectives of the relevant local and national policies and guidance.

“The proposal is acceptable in principle and subject to conditions, it would have an acceptable impact on the character and appearance of the area, the significance of nearby heritage assets, the living conditions of future occupiers and the residential amenity of neighbouring occupiers.”

It added: The council has a deficit in housing land supply so the tilted balance in favour of sustainable development should be applied when determining the application as relevant.

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Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter