Southend Council wants to press ahead with a ludicrously expensive and highly inappropriate seafront business centre, masquerading as a museum.
It simply doesn’t have the the money required. Even if it did, there is no prospect of starting the project for at least another six years.
The council is attempting to trick the development control committee into granting planning permission, by attaching it to the application to repair the cliff slip.
It appears the cost of repairing the cliff has mysteriously escalated by £2.8million in the past few months. At the beginning of the year, councillor Derek Jarvis said it would cost about £3.2m.
However, just last week, the council officer in charge of the repair and museum, Peter Vadden, told a residents’ meeting the repair would cost £6m.
There is also the matter of the museum costs. For years the council has told the public the proposed museum would cost £35m, however, Skipp (the Southend King in Priory Park action group) has always said the true figure was £50m.
The council’s proposal doesn’t even work as a museum. It’s more a business conference facility and entertainment centre.
It’s based on an outdated concept of glass cases and bored children and furthermore the proposed site is just too far from the burial site for it to succeed.
This is the single most significant archeological find in the British Isles in the past hundred years.
It is not right for a find of this importance to be used as an excuse to build a playground for business leaders.