Seafront flats given approval

A plan to build nine flats on top of the Wimpy restaurant on Southend’s Golden Mile have been approved despite opposition from neighbours who were “distressed” by the plan.

Developers have been given the green light to demolish the existing floors above the Wimpy in Marine Parade, Southend, and build three storeys to create nine flats.

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

The Wimpy on the ground floor will remain.

Speaking at a development control committee meeting, a resident of a nearby Jubilee cottages, said: “I’m here basically to represent the residents of Marks Court. This extra building that you are putting on our site is causing an awful lot of distress. There is a lot of opposition to this.

“For a start there were no letters to everybody. Some people never even got a letter saying this was going to happen and it does affect the life of everybody on Marks Court.”

The resident said there was also a lack of parking provision and only a narrow access road to Mark’s Court behind the development.

Matt Dent, Labour councillor for Kursaal ward -who had called in the application to the committee – said: “I do have some concerns in this development. It is my view quite significant densification in the town centre area on the seafront.

“Nine flats is quite a big increase in terms of the development there. I’m also a little concerned about the proximity these works to the only access for the cottages behind, though accept that that isn’t a planning matter.

“Overall I think this this application has reached the point where this committee can with some variation pass it. I think that we need to be a little vigilant with the with monitoring the implementation to make sure that there isn’t an undue impact on the lives and people living behind it.”

Councillors heard there would be some modification to bike and bin storage following suggestions from residents.

Shoeburyness councillor, Steven Wakefield, said: “As for some of the sizes, one size doesn’t fit all some people like a small studio flats and that’s all they want. The other great thing about this is another nine houses going against our overall housing that the government are setting us.

We obviously need to look at different ways of meeting these targets of the extra housing that we have. I don’t see any reason why I should object because they have met with the requirements of what they needed to do.”

Councillors on Southend Council’s development control committee voted ten to five to grant planning permission.

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Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter