No more: A third of Southend's bedsits crammed into just one ward

Trevor Bell

Trevor Bell

First published in News by

A THIRD of Southend’s bedsits are crammed into just one area, the Echo can reveal.

Milton ward, which covers most of Southend’s town centre between Valkyrie Road, London Road and Queensway, has 25 shared houses – more than all but one of the borough’s 17 wards put together.

Trevor Bell, 68, who has lived in Holland Road, Westcliff, for 22 years, said: “I have seen the area go down and down gradually.

“This was once known as the posh end of Southend – now it’s basically known as the worst end.

“It’s a shame because when all of the daytrippers come out of Westcliff Station and see all the rubbish, it doesn’t give a good impression of Southend.”

Kursaal, another town centre ward between Queensway, Victoria Road and Branksome Road, has 15 licensed bedsits and Chalkwell has 11, but the remaining 14 wards have just 10 between them.

Neighbours complain bedsits, which are normally family homes converted into flats or a shared house, rarely have enough off-street parking for their occupants, who often create more rubbish than a family.

Only converted homes of at least three storeys, with five or more tenants, need to be licensed and inspected by local authorities and Milton residents fear the ward has many more that are unlicensed.

Mr Holland, who has worked hard to develop community spirit in his road by starting a neighbourhood watch scheme and delivering newsletters, added: “It’s time the council stood up and said: ‘Enough is enough, we have got too many.’”

Julian Lowes, 57, of Seaforth Road, Westcliff, formerly a member of the now-defunct Milton Ward Community Group, said: “We believe there was an unwritten policy in the past to put all the problems together.

“It’s a lovely place to live, but for those of us who have bought in the area and wish to stay it is frustrating that the issues we have brought to the council for a long time have not been listened to.”

 

SOUTHEND Council must stop overdeveloping Milton, a councillor for the ward has said.

The population of Milton grew by almost a quarter in a decade to 11,063 in 2011, when the last census was carried out.

Julian Ware-Lane, Labour councillor for Milton, has fought against the over development of the ward, which is now the borough’s third densest after Victora and Kursaal, which have large council estates.

He said: “I understand why there is more in the town centre, but when I have a battle to slow development in my ward I say you can’t give us everything – at some point you have to stop.”

But Jonathan Garston, Conservative member for the ward and councillor responsible for planning claimed the authority’s official document that sets out the permitted development of the town is enough to prevent too many HMOs in one area.

Mr Garston, who lives in Clifftown Parade, said: “It is a concern so many are in one ward but the number of these are historic.

“What is important is how applications for HMOs have been dealt with in recent years going into the future.”

Comments (14)

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6:11pm Mon 3 Mar 14

carnmountyouknowitmakessense says...

For very good reason, any declining property area will always be occupied by bedsitters, by the very nature of the demand, for low rental fees and established bedsitting rooms.
What the heck do they expect, to be bedsitting in Thorpe Bay ?
For very good reason, any declining property area will always be occupied by bedsitters, by the very nature of the demand, for low rental fees and established bedsitting rooms. What the heck do they expect, to be bedsitting in Thorpe Bay ? carnmountyouknowitmakessense
  • Score: 6

6:33pm Mon 3 Mar 14

yagetme says...

The Buy To Let and Help To Buy success story continues!
The Buy To Let and Help To Buy success story continues! yagetme
  • Score: 6

7:00pm Mon 3 Mar 14

jolllyboy says...

The town is full. end of.
The town is full. end of. jolllyboy
  • Score: 11

7:42pm Mon 3 Mar 14

the25man says...

Certain styles of houses are very easy and cheap to convert into two flats which is what has happened in certain areas. Although there are still alot of these houses the Council will not give planning permission to convert. This is because of the parking problems that it causes
Certain styles of houses are very easy and cheap to convert into two flats which is what has happened in certain areas. Although there are still alot of these houses the Council will not give planning permission to convert. This is because of the parking problems that it causes the25man
  • Score: 4

7:44pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Ed Woods says...

So what is the solution? If you shut them down where will all the tenants go? Is the council going to rehome them? If nothing is going to change then we just have lots of hotair and gesture politics from the politicians.
So what is the solution? If you shut them down where will all the tenants go? Is the council going to rehome them? If nothing is going to change then we just have lots of hotair and gesture politics from the politicians. Ed Woods
  • Score: 4

10:17pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Richy don't shine shoes no more says...

It's not the shared houses, it's the smattering of scumbags that bought the area down. Lovely area blighted by the bin bags, I've seen them thrown out of third floor windows on Station rd.

Talk about sh1tting on your own doorstep
It's not the shared houses, it's the smattering of scumbags that bought the area down. Lovely area blighted by the bin bags, I've seen them thrown out of third floor windows on Station rd. Talk about sh1tting on your own doorstep Richy don't shine shoes no more
  • Score: 8

2:30am Tue 4 Mar 14

CHRISTMAS CAROL says...

Not rocket science, large houses with Rackman type greedy landlords who let the houses go into rack and ruin and dont give a **** because the councils are paying the rent. and the council doesnt care about anything anyway. Fast becoming a town to be ashamed of. I was born in one of these streets and the homeowners took great care of these huge beautiful houses, it was a pleasure to walk down the streets, not anymore. People need a decent place to live but these bedsits also need decent people in them and that is not going to happen. Can only get worse
Not rocket science, large houses with Rackman type greedy landlords who let the houses go into rack and ruin and dont give a **** because the councils are paying the rent. and the council doesnt care about anything anyway. Fast becoming a town to be ashamed of. I was born in one of these streets and the homeowners took great care of these huge beautiful houses, it was a pleasure to walk down the streets, not anymore. People need a decent place to live but these bedsits also need decent people in them and that is not going to happen. Can only get worse CHRISTMAS CAROL
  • Score: 11

7:27am Tue 4 Mar 14

whateverhappened says...

carnmountyouknowitma
kessense
wrote:
For very good reason, any declining property area will always be occupied by bedsitters, by the very nature of the demand, for low rental fees and established bedsitting rooms. What the heck do they expect, to be bedsitting in Thorpe Bay ?
A disabled man cannot get permission to turn a bungalow into a family home in thorpe bay, yet in certain streets in westcliff more than half the edwardian houses have been ruined by flats and hmo's,, make your own mind up as to wether it was a delibrate policy
[quote][p][bold]carnmountyouknowitma kessense[/bold] wrote: For very good reason, any declining property area will always be occupied by bedsitters, by the very nature of the demand, for low rental fees and established bedsitting rooms. What the heck do they expect, to be bedsitting in Thorpe Bay ?[/p][/quote]A disabled man cannot get permission to turn a bungalow into a family home in thorpe bay, yet in certain streets in westcliff more than half the edwardian houses have been ruined by flats and hmo's,, make your own mind up as to wether it was a delibrate policy whateverhappened
  • Score: 4

7:29am Tue 4 Mar 14

whateverhappened says...

Street blitz on rogue landlords and nightmare neighbours in Southend.#
.
..

could of run these two articles together
Street blitz on rogue landlords and nightmare neighbours in Southend.# . .. could of run these two articles together whateverhappened
  • Score: 4

7:31am Tue 4 Mar 14

abd123 says...

I agree that it is the people in these bedsits that are the problem. We have created a society where work is optional and people are allowed to slide into a life of inactivity where they do not care about anything including their surroundings. We just import people from other countries to do the work.. It will take something so radical to turn this around that it is unlikely to happen. Good luck in improving the area.
I agree that it is the people in these bedsits that are the problem. We have created a society where work is optional and people are allowed to slide into a life of inactivity where they do not care about anything including their surroundings. We just import people from other countries to do the work.. It will take something so radical to turn this around that it is unlikely to happen. Good luck in improving the area. abd123
  • Score: 3

2:53pm Tue 4 Mar 14

carnmountyouknowitmakessense says...

Stop all benefits for 6 months, then see who survives.
Stop all benefits for 6 months, then see who survives. carnmountyouknowitmakessense
  • Score: -3

3:54pm Tue 4 Mar 14

pembury53 says...

abd123 wrote:
I agree that it is the people in these bedsits that are the problem. We have created a society where work is optional and people are allowed to slide into a life of inactivity where they do not care about anything including their surroundings. We just import people from other countries to do the work.. It will take something so radical to turn this around that it is unlikely to happen. Good luck in improving the area.
the tories radical idea of coercing the workshy back into jobs by choking off benefits has been sunk, without a trace, by imported labour, as you rightly point out......... the social underclass is here to stay, and grow, for a long long time.....
[quote][p][bold]abd123[/bold] wrote: I agree that it is the people in these bedsits that are the problem. We have created a society where work is optional and people are allowed to slide into a life of inactivity where they do not care about anything including their surroundings. We just import people from other countries to do the work.. It will take something so radical to turn this around that it is unlikely to happen. Good luck in improving the area.[/p][/quote]the tories radical idea of coercing the workshy back into jobs by choking off benefits has been sunk, without a trace, by imported labour, as you rightly point out......... the social underclass is here to stay, and grow, for a long long time..... pembury53
  • Score: 2

11:44pm Tue 4 Mar 14

jayman says...

carnmountyouknowitma
kessense
wrote:
Stop all benefits for 6 months, then see who survives.
would that include in-work, top-up housing benefit which landlords are in receipt of. seems that the housing market might have a bit of a wobble if that where to happen. It also means that the daily mail might start to defend a particular state benefit in the interest of its self-serving readership.. Imagine the horror and perish the thought.

In all honesty though. i would support any government that offered a working wage that people can actually live on and houses that people can actually afford. I know!! revolutionary isn't it..
[quote][p][bold]carnmountyouknowitma kessense[/bold] wrote: Stop all benefits for 6 months, then see who survives.[/p][/quote]would that include in-work, top-up housing benefit which landlords are in receipt of. seems that the housing market might have a bit of a wobble if that where to happen. It also means that the daily mail might start to defend a particular state benefit in the interest of its self-serving readership.. Imagine the horror and perish the thought. In all honesty though. i would support any government that offered a working wage that people can actually live on and houses that people can actually afford. I know!! revolutionary isn't it.. jayman
  • Score: 1

1:33am Wed 5 Mar 14

Nebs says...

Looks like the other wards have got a bit of catching up to do.
Looks like the other wards have got a bit of catching up to do. Nebs
  • Score: -1

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