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Tory hits out over hospice proposal
A TORY councillor has hit out at plans to build houses, a hospice and an office block on a former Southend factory site as looking like they were drawn up “on the back of a fag packet”.
Mark Flewitt, who represents St Laurence, spoke out ahead of a Southend Council cabinet meeting tomorrow night which is looking at proposals to develop the former Ekco site, between Priory Crescent and Thornford Gardens.
The plans show space for between 150 and 250 family homes – with 30 per cent set aside for a housing association – while about 3.5 acres of the derelict former Prittlebrook Industrial Estate site, facing on to Priory Crescent, will be given over to Havens Hospices for a new, 16-bed adult hospice.
A four-storey office block, also accessed from Priory Crescent, would sit between the hospice and the new Marston’s pub being built on the old Toomey car showroom site.
Mr Flewitt is unhappy with the scheme. He said: “The brief looks like it has been done on the back of a fag packet.”
He is also worried the plans, which fall inside his ward, are being rushed through.
He added: “Ward councillors have not had a briefing, no one has – it’s a serious rush.
“Where is the pre-application consultation with residents before the plans? It’s outrageous.”
Southend Council has confirmed no consultation with residents or ward councillors took place before the development brief was drawn up.
All councillors are likely to get a say on the document, which will be used to decide any future planning application, if the Tory cabinet gives it the green light tomorrow.
Jonathan Garston, Southend councillor responsible for planning, said: “We are at an early stage.
“We will have discussions with Mark and the other ward councillors. They will have a chance for an input.
“They haven’t been consulted before, but there is plenty of time.”
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