Shoebury Garrison land handed over for housing

Work on 214 homes at the Shoebury Garrison will begin next year, after the land was officially handed over to a developer.

Bellway Homes has acquired the land between Barge Pier Road and Ness Road from the previous owner Garrison Developments.

The company is finalising detailed plans on the homes, which will be raised from the ground in a bid to protect them from flooding.

A Bellway spokesman said: “Bellway is pleased to have secured land for new residential development off Barge Pier Road.

“A reserved matters planning application is set to be submitted to outline our detailed plans for the development in the summer, with construction work set to begin in early 2023 subject to planning consent being granted.”

Planning permission for the homes stipulates that 30 per cent of them must be classed as affordable, but concerns are growing over an application to vary the Section 106 agreement on the proportion of affordable homes.

A report to Southend’s development control committee, which will meet on Wednesday, outlines the changes to take away the term “affordable homes” from the properties in order to obtain more favourable terms from prospective mortgage companies.

However, it claims this will not affect the social housing provision.

The report said applicant, Chelmer Homes Partnership, believes the “council’s provisions would be considered adverse to a lender, who would restrict the affordable housing part to existing use value for social housing, rather than market value, resulting in the lender only being willing to lend a smaller amount against the property”.

Peter Lovett, vice-chairman of Shoebury Residents’ Association, said an attempt to vary the agreement had been made before.

He said: “The application to change the rules applying to the 106 agreement was submitted last year and we objected at that time. Planning permission was given on the basis that a deed was signed dated February 26, 2021, and the inclusion of market value social housing and other conditions will protect the provision of affordable homes.

“There is no point agreeing to a 106 to secure planning permission if once it is granted, changes are then made which will affect outcomes. As a residents association we object fully against any changes being made.”

Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter