Southend store renews café bid

Bosses at a Southend convenience store have launched a fresh bid to open a tea room and café to serve residents visiting Southchurch Park.

Owners of the One Stop shop on the corner of Shaftesbury Avenue and Lifstan Way had plans rejected in 2020 due to the store being too far from the town centre.

However, fresh plans have now been submitted with the owner’s hoping to make the most of the increased popularity of Southchurch Park after its car park was resurfaced last year and enlarged to 218 spaces.

In a new planning application to Southend Council, architects APS Design Associates, said: “It is well known that Southchurch Park, particularly in the autumn and summer periods is very popular and is serviced only at present by a small council run café.

“The nearest refreshment facilities, apart from the park café, would be along the seafront on Eastern Esplanade and we therefore feel that there is a place for a further light refreshment facility, particularly in view of its close proximity to Southchurch Park and Eastern Esplanade beach.”

The café aims to sell tea and coffee shop and provide light refreshments such as sandwiches, and ice creams etc. Cooked food will not be prepared on the premises.

The proposed building is a single storey flat roofed building which will incorporate a counter serving teas, coffees etc. It will have a disabled toilet and a storage area, along with associated bin storage and cycle storage.

Part of a neighbouring garden would be used if the application is approved.

The previous application was refused because of its “out of town centre location”. There were also fears over flood risk and the loss of a residential garden area.

Ron Woodley, Independent councillor for Thorpe ward said he didn’t believe visitors to Southchurch Park had increased because of the car park.

He added: “I have been saying there should be signs pointing visitors to the car park. I was there on Saturday and there were only five cars there.

“Looking at the previous reasons for refusal in the context of the current scheme, the proposal itself does not appear to have changed. There appears to be a more comprehensive flood risk assessment provided. However, the previous reasons for refusal do not seem to have been overcome.”


Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter