NEIGHBOURS have demanded action over a site that has become a magnet for vandals after lying derelict for almost a decade.
Yet again, Southend Council is set to reject plans for redevelopment of the former Albany Laundry site, in Nelson Road, Leigh, and derelict Albany Court flats.
This time the plans were for 65 homes and the council looks set to make the decision next Wednesday.
Nearby residents and businesses have called for the redevelopment of the site, which has only been used by graffiti artists and skateboarders since the laundry closed in 2005.
Debbie Zammit, who lives three doors from AlbanyCourt said: “It’s an eyesore.
“I can’t see why it is going to be rejected again. I had no problem with the last application.
It’s just awful. Something has to be done.”
Jackie Roberts, who works in and lives above Eastwood Boulevard Post Office, opposite the site, said: “My bedroom looks over it and it’s a right mess. We used to have kids over there playing, skateboarding and everything.
“It’s about time they did something about it.”
Developer Land Charter Southend, which has applied to build 62 flats in five blocks and three three-bedroom houses on the site, has attempted to overcome previous objections by reducing the number of homes, changing the design and increasing parking to 76 spaces.
But planning officers have recommended councillors reject the plans as the firm, set up by laundry owner Mike Burton, has only offered to contribute ten units of affordable housing – half the required amount.
Land Charter Southend, which has agreed to contribute almost £43,000 towards primary education and £25,000 towards public art if plans are agreed, claims handing a third of homes over to a housing association would make the scheme financially unviable.
The District Valuer Service is assessing the claim.
Kate Nelson, in Nelson Road, said: “It’d be great if it were used to house people.
That would be brilliant. If it was social housing that would be great.”
The Environment Agency has warned the site, which is almost the size of a football pitch, is contaminated with oil and volatile organic compounds.
No-one from Land Charter Southend was available for comment.