Work may soon begin on flats on site of fire damaged home in Chalkwell

Work could finally begin on building a block of flats on the site of a fire-damaged house in Chalkwell.

The home at 51 Chalkwell Avenue was gutted by fire in 2015 before the owner of the property was handed a £1,550 bill in 2019 after ignoring repeated instructions to tidy up the site by Southend City Council.

The house, on a prominent corner site at the junction with Kings Road, has since been demolished and surrounded by hoardings, but concerns have continued to be raised over the unsightly state of the area.

A three-storey block of nine flats with balconies and terraces was approved in 2021 but little has happened at the site since then.

Hoardings have been erected and now an application to alter some tree root protection conditions following the removal of some trees has been lodged, indicating that work could be about to start.

Tory councillor James Courtenay, who represents Chalkwell, welcomed the signs construction may be imminent.

He said: “It’s been going on for a long time. It’s good because it’s been a bit of an eyesore for a quite some time and it’s in a really prominent spot on the edge of Kings Road and Chalkwell Avenue. It’s viewable from every angle.

“It’s a big plot. There definitely appears to be some activity there.

“It’s good that the work is maybe finally taking place. It’s good that the work is finally taking place. Hopefully it will be concluded and opened up and then it will be nice and bring some extra housing to the area as well.”

The latest application for the development seeks alteration to a condition of planning consent which provided protection for the roots of four trees.

One is said to have blown over in a storm and the remainder were “removed in error”.

The revised condition will protect the remaining trees on the site which could potentially be impacted by construction work.

The fire in 2015 gutted the building and an investigation by the fire service ruled the fire was started deliberately.

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Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter

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