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Future of Southend seafront pub still in the balance
10:00am Tuesday 1st January 2013 in Local News
THE future of a prime seafront site is still in limbo, eight months after ambitions plans for a multi-million pound hotel and restaurant collapsed.
The Esplanade pub, in Western Esplanade, remains in the ownership of Renewal Southend, which abandoned its proposal for the four-storey, 58-bed, luxury development on the site in April.
However the land, which has been valued at more than £1million, is still available for sale and estate agents said they had received interest from potential buyers.
Mike Gray, managing director of Dedman Gray, said: “We are still acting on that site.
“Is is still available for sale, and we have received some revised interest from other parties during the month of December.”
The hotel plans, which were rubber-stamped by Southend Council in April 2010, included a ground-floor restaurant, lounge and reception, as well as an underground car park.
The building was also designed to shore up the seafront cliffs, in a similar manner to the council’s £35million development plans for a new museum, further along Western Esplanade.
However, rumours about the project’s future simmered for months before its final collapse.
Land Registry records show Renewal paid £760,000 for the pub in March 2008.
But by October 2011, the firm said the plans were on hold because of the tough financial climate.
When it finally withdrew in April, it revealed it could no longer afford to push the project forward and wanted someone else to take up the reins.
The firm bought the Esplanade pub outright, but only secured planning permission for the publicly-owned surrounding land, which is still in council hands.
That means only the pub is for sale through Dedman Gray, although the permission will remain valid until April 2013.
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