New threat could sink homes plan

Echo: John Budge at Old Gunners Park John Budge at Old Gunners Park

CONTROVERSIAL plans for 172 new homes on parkland are likely to be thrown out unless the developer agrees to fund social housing, schools and roads, the Echo can reveal.

Garrison Developments has offered almost £1million towards a 7ft seawall planned for Shoebury Common if it gets permission for a new estate on Old Gunners Park, Shoebury.

But the developer insists the scheme will be unviable if it is forced to hand over 30 per cent of the homes to a housing association, as well as contributing £1.5million for schools and between £10,000 and £15,000 towards highway improvements.

Now, a letter passed to the Echo shows a Southend Council planning officer told the firm’s technical director the scheme was unlikely to be approved without the contributions.

An extract from the letter from Dean Hermitage, Southend Council’s group manager for development and building control, to Paul Denney, Garrison Developments’ technical director, on March 6 last year, said: “If the development is unviable and cannot provide any education contributions or affordable housing, one would question if the development of the site for mixed use (residential and commercial) is appropriate at all.

“The site is currently zoned for employment on the Garrison masterplan and expected to contribute to the borough’s employment targets up to 2021.

“Thus, I doubt the council would support bringing the site forward as a mixed-use scheme if it could not meet any policy requirements.”

Residents facing creaking infrastructure in Shoebury are outraged Garrison Developments, which could rake inmore than £60million in sales from the estate, is unwilling to dig deep.

John Budge, treasurer of Shoebury Residents’ Association, said: “If it is not contributing to affordable housing, it shouldn’t be allowed.

“The developer has been very keen to offer £1million towards the ill-fated seawall scheme.

“If it is that generous, it should be prepared to contribute to other things that will benefit the locality.”

Andrew Lewis, the council’s corporate director for place, said: “The officer advises that should the applicant consider the development cannot fund adequate planning contributions, the council will expect a viability appraisal to be carried out to demonstrate this.”

A spokesman for Garrison Developments said: “The council has undertaken an independent review of our own viability assessments in deciding how much we should contribute and we look forward to discussing this.

“How these contributions are spent, once this has been decided, is up to the council.”

Comments (10)

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10:39am Thu 29 May 14

The Macduffian says...

Andrew Lewis the councils corporate director for place , does the council have a director for cod and chips as well ?
Andrew Lewis the councils corporate director for place , does the council have a director for cod and chips as well ? The Macduffian
  • Score: 3

11:32am Thu 29 May 14

jayman says...

throw it out.. this area is already developed enough and Garrison Developments/Glendal
e homes have already done enough damage to this historic area that was gifted the the people of Southend as a recreational area.
throw it out.. this area is already developed enough and Garrison Developments/Glendal e homes have already done enough damage to this historic area that was gifted the the people of Southend as a recreational area. jayman
  • Score: 17

11:32am Thu 29 May 14

jayman says...

throw it out.. this area is already developed enough and Garrison Developments/Glendal
e homes have already done enough damage to this historic area that was gifted the the people of Southend as a recreational area.
throw it out.. this area is already developed enough and Garrison Developments/Glendal e homes have already done enough damage to this historic area that was gifted the the people of Southend as a recreational area. jayman
  • Score: 6

1:24pm Thu 29 May 14

sesibollox says...

We don't want common council trash, in our utopia, of the Garrison estate.
We don't want common council trash, in our utopia, of the Garrison estate. sesibollox
  • Score: 2

6:28pm Thu 29 May 14

chasprit says...

When are our local Shoebury councillors going to protect the interests of their electorate rather than sell us down the river for cash from developers and grants from central government to cram yet more homes in Shoebury? Has any councillor attempted to drive from Shoebury to west of Southend in the rush hour? It is obvious that the current road infrastructure is insufficient to support the current population, let alone further expansion. And, who wants a home built on a flood plain anyway? Getting insurance will be a challenge!!
When are our local Shoebury councillors going to protect the interests of their electorate rather than sell us down the river for cash from developers and grants from central government to cram yet more homes in Shoebury? Has any councillor attempted to drive from Shoebury to west of Southend in the rush hour? It is obvious that the current road infrastructure is insufficient to support the current population, let alone further expansion. And, who wants a home built on a flood plain anyway? Getting insurance will be a challenge!! chasprit
  • Score: 13

6:50pm Thu 29 May 14

BinDipper says...

The park is already hideously over-developed. They should finish off the houses that are started, properly landscape round them rather than leaving a pile of mud and get out. Gunners Park has been ruined by greed. From when I used to sneak in there for a look around as a boy and when it was opened up about 25 years ago, it was a beautiful wild part of our coastal heritage. It's messed up now. Just stop! Hopefully with our new slightly more open council we may get some decisions taken for sensible reasons and not because someone has a fat brown envelope.
The park is already hideously over-developed. They should finish off the houses that are started, properly landscape round them rather than leaving a pile of mud and get out. Gunners Park has been ruined by greed. From when I used to sneak in there for a look around as a boy and when it was opened up about 25 years ago, it was a beautiful wild part of our coastal heritage. It's messed up now. Just stop! Hopefully with our new slightly more open council we may get some decisions taken for sensible reasons and not because someone has a fat brown envelope. BinDipper
  • Score: 15

8:46am Fri 30 May 14

barney15c says...

Now is the time for our newly elected independent councilers to show their independence and vote down this scheme. Shoebury is creaking under the weight of upteen developments including the proposed one at Hinguar as well as the Garrison, the infrastructure cannot take it.
Now is the time for our newly elected independent councilers to show their independence and vote down this scheme. Shoebury is creaking under the weight of upteen developments including the proposed one at Hinguar as well as the Garrison, the infrastructure cannot take it. barney15c
  • Score: 13

11:04am Fri 30 May 14

John Right says...

Is East Beach open yet ?
Is East Beach open yet ? John Right
  • Score: 3

12:11pm Fri 30 May 14

I care about rayleigh says...

The only reason the developer doesn't want to hand houses over to a housing association is that it will reduce his profits! Surely a protected open space of parkland would be of more benefit to the locals.
The only reason the developer doesn't want to hand houses over to a housing association is that it will reduce his profits! Surely a protected open space of parkland would be of more benefit to the locals. I care about rayleigh
  • Score: 6

4:24pm Fri 30 May 14

keepitreal says...

New independent councillor probably do's not care , he lives outside Shoeburyness. Ps sort out east beach
New independent councillor probably do's not care , he lives outside Shoeburyness. Ps sort out east beach keepitreal
  • Score: 2

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