Residents object to application for news homes on site of garages in Southend

Building homes on the site of a set of garages in Southend would block daylight to neighbouring properties, residents claim.

An application, which is recommended for approval, has been submitted to demolish a row of 23 garages behind terraced homes in Southchurch Road.

Four garages face homes in Ilfracombe Road and Lovelace Gardens.

The garages will be replaced with six new two-storey homes along with a single-storey extension behind 613-619 Southchurch Road, creating a flat.

The council received 23 letters of objection, with the main concerns being loss of daylight, privacy and overshadowing.

Paul Basten, 55, of Lovelace Gardens said: “This has made me ill. I live right next to the development. The wall of one house will be 3ft from two sitting room windows and one upstairs bedroom window. The wall of another house will be right against my lawn.

“I didn’t get much light in my garden before because of the garages but if this goes ahead I will only have light in 25 per cent of my garden and in the winter virtually none.”

Mr Basten added: “You buy a house and you expect to be able to stay for life. I don’t want to move.

“This is a very busy area of Southchurch and there is very little parking as it is.”

Martin Berry, Labour Councillor for St. Luke’s Ward said residents would be seriously affected if the plans are approved.

He said: “As a long-term campaigner for decent and genuinely-affordable homes it’s unusual for me to be objecting to a housing application – but this area does not need the type of houses planned and certainly not in this location.

“The published plans don’t show that they’ll overshadow the neighbouring properties to such an extent that the house next door will be in darkness, inside and out. Others nearby will have daylight compromised and parking will be even more of a nightmare than now.”

He added: “The garages that would be demolished for them are a loved local landmark and were originally stables for the Southchurch Road traders’ horses. These days they’re used for storage and much-needed parking and, while some renovation would be desirable, demolition to squeeze in these planned small but overbearing houses is a step too far.”

Councillors on the development control committee will discuss the plans on Wednesday.

Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter