NEW family homes look set to be built on a long-derelict former industrial site in the centre of Southend.

Southend Council is expected to agree plans for 27 two and three-bedroom homes on the site of a former laundry and warehouse between North Road and Salisbury Avenue today.

Similar plans for 28 homes on the site were turned down earlier this year after the previous developer, Venture Capital Associates, failed to offer enough towards social housing, education and public art.

But housebuilder Randall Watts, based in Comet Way, Southend, has now offered to hand over the whole development to a housing association to rent or sell as affordable housing.

Ian Gilbert, deputy leader of the council and Labour councillor for Victoria, said: “100 per cent affordable housing is great.

“It’s derelict land that has been doing nothing, but causing a nuisance.

“Residents will be pleased the site won’t be derelict any longer.

Derelict land always attracts trouble.”

Seven two-storey houses would front on to Salisbury Road, with three more on North Road.

The remaining properties would be in the centre of the site, accessed via a driveway from Salisbury Avenue.

Parking with space for 27 cars is also included in the plans.

Randall Watts has offered to pay the council £2,500 towards changing the entrances to the site and pavement and include £13,500 of public art on the site, which would be open to the public.

Planning officers have waived education contributions as all of the homes would be affordable.

Mr Gilbert, who campaigned for more affordable housing before gaining a place on the council’s new joint administration, said: “It sounds to me as if it’s a fair offer.

“The development control committee will want to be careful about setting a precedent about contributions towards education.

“If you extend that across the board, we will have problems because we need more school places, but this is a case of being pragmatic to get 100 per cent affordable housing.

“We can’t miss out on that chance.”

The Sunlight Laundry, which had occupied the site since 1948, was closed about a decade ago and demolished a few years ago.

Since the laundry closed, the site has becomeamagnet for flytipping.

The developer would have to decontaminate the land before any building started.

Two derelict houses in North Road are not included in the site, but have been earmarked for refurbishment as part of a separate planning application approved in April.