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The developer behind the proposed Seaway leisure development has announced it remains determined to make the scheme a reality and pledged to address council concerns.
Turnstone Estates has spent more than five years trying to find the best way to redevelop the Seaway Car Park on Lucy Road into a major new leisure attraction in Southend complete with 11-screen IMAX cinema, bowling alley, hotel and multi-storey car park.
That was all thrown into jeopardy on Wednesday afternoon when councillors voted to delay granting planning permission until changes are made to the plans, in particular more parking than the 555 spaces that had been proposed.
But the developer has announced it is still working on the plans and will not let the council decision put an end to their proposals.
Tim Deacon, director at Turnstone Estates, said: “Although we are disappointed with the decision to delay our proposal for a massive £50 million investment in Southend’s High Street, we are as determined as ever to deliver Seaway Leisure.
“That’s why we will continue to work closely with Southend Council officers to do everything we can to address the issues raised by the Development Control Committee so that we can get on with turbo charging the local economy and delivering state of the art facilities for residents as soon as possible.
“Every day that Seaway Leisure is delayed is an extra day that Southend residents are held back from hundreds of new jobs and local businesses unable to cash in on the extra visitors that a new year round family friendly leisure attraction will bring to the High Street.”
Along with adjusting their plans to meet the needs of the council, the developer must also first wait to see whether this will even be possible based on their existing agreement with the council.
Southend Council had only agreed to allow Turnstone to redevelop the car park if they gained planning permission by Friday, something they failed to achieve.
If Turnstone wish to continue on, they will be reliant on the council agreeing to extend the agreement, something many have already pledged they wouldn’t do but are now reluctant to rule out.