Southend United deal to see planning bids for stadium renovation and more homes for Fossetts Farm

Planning applications for renovation to Southend United’s Roots Hall stadium and for more than 1,400 new homes at Fossetts Farm are set to be submitted at break-neck speed.

The Consortium lead by Australian businessman Jason Rees is expected to waste no time in submitting plans for extensive refurbishment to the dilapidated stadium in Victoria Avenue.

The 500 homes that were due to be built on Roots Hall to kick start the new stadium will be transferred to the Fossetts Farm site, but some land suitable for housing on the periphery of the club could potentially be sold to a developer. Original planning permission for those homes has expired and would have to be resubmitted.

Southend City Council, which helped seal the deal with Blues chairman Ron Martin and the new consortium said it would continue to ensure a smooth path for the club and expected consents to be given no later than nine months.

Tony Cox, leader of the council, said: “There will have to be a cabinet decision like there was originally because it does alter the plan, not dramatically but it will need to be a cabinet decision. There will also need to be planning permission given for the Fossetts development. The other homes were dependent on the stadium being built at Fossetts so there has got to be a new planning consent given.

“I’m presuming the consortium is going to waste no time in putting in planning applications for upgrades of stands in the very near future and also when they sell off the land that’s got permission for housing as that planning permission has expired they will want to come back with that as well.”

Cllr Cox added: ““We’re in for a whole raft of planning consents to be approved. We’re looking at six to nine months for planning consent to be given because you’ve got the statutory time periods which you have to give. So about six to nine months if it’s done at break-neck speed and I’m expecting that to happen.”

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Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter