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After more than a year of controversy council bosses have said they will move ahead with plans to build homes on green space close to a housing estate on Lundy Close.
During a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, council leaders voted in favour of building between nine and 12 affordable homes on land to the north of the estate.
The decision is likely to inflame tensions between the council and residents who have been urging the authority not to build near to them due to ongoing problems with parking and fears that families will lose green space.
However, the decision to build up to 12 properties is a step down from earlier suggestions that more than 30 could be built.
Council leader Ian Gilbert said: “This is to develop nine and 12 units on the north part of the site only. This represents a substantial reduction in numbers from those originally mooted when this was included in a pipeline plan from the previous administration, taking into account the constraints on the site.
“It also leaves the wooded area in the middle of the site untouched and still available as an amenity space to residents whilst still making a modest bus significant contribution to council housing within the borough.
“We must all be minded of both the chronic need for affordable housing in Southend and also the target the government is setting us for housing building which look set to become stricter and more difficult under the new planning regime.”
Councillor Daniel Cowan, who represents the St Laurence ward, addressed the cabinet on the housing, stating that “concerns the residents have raised have been well heard” and he is pleased the cabinet is looking to build the “smallest number of units possible”.
He further asked for reassurance resident “will be presented with detailed plans at every stage” and be able to “raise concerns and objections” which will feed into the design of the properties.
Cllr Gilbert said he would “bear in mind consultation with residents going forward”.