A NEW Southend United stadium could boast a 12-screen cinema and 170 apartments on the same site, planning documents reveal.

The Blues have wanted to move from Roots Hall to a new 22,000-seater venue at Fossetts Farm since 2007, but a modified planning application now reveals more details about the development of the site.

As well as building a cinema and 13-storey towerblocks to house the apartments, the plans earmark 19,500 square metres of retail space and 1,800 parking spaces.

It is also thought the Blues are close to signing a renewed deal with Southend Council which would see the club contribute £3.5million to local services and infrastructure should they build the stadium.

The stadium plans have been in doubt because the club is reliant on supermarket giant Sainsbury’s buying up ground at Roots Hall for a new store.

Ken Jarvis, who runs fans’ forum Shimperzone, believes the revised plans could prove a huge money-spinner for the club. He said: “If the facility is built, and the money goes to the club, then it is a good thing. If they can build some nice apartments in blocks that are over 13 storeys they could make an absolute fortune.

“It appears, to the run-of-themill person, that Sainsbury’s doesn’t seem to be doing so well, so we have to bung apartments around the stadium to help pay for it.”

The revised planning documents also mention the installation of soccer domes on the Blues training ground, which were previously used by the David Beckham Academy, in South London.

The club said it was planning to sign a deal with the council imminently. Sainsbury’s said it was still in discussions with the club on both the stadium.

An environmental impact assessment, designed to take into account the latest additions to the club’s planning application, is to be submitted in May following this initial scoping plan. The Blues renewed their planning permission to build the new stadium in April 2013 after the original permission expired.

If a new cinema is built as part of the plans it would be the third in Southend, with Odeon at the top of the High Street and Cineworld planned for the Seaway development in Lucy Road.

Scheme ‘proves Southend is on the up’

THE scale of the application submitted by the Blues is another example of the improving property and economic market in Southend, claims a leading property consultant.

With the £60million Marine Plaza development, featuring both residential and leisure provision, still in the pipeline, as well as the planned multiplex cinema in Lucy Road, the latest details in the Blues plans reflect the fact Southend is on the up.

Mike Gray, of Southend commercial property consultants Dedman Gray, is hopeful the development will lead to further investment in the town.

Mr Gray, said: “The revised application takes into consideration the market requirements and provides a good mix of both commercial and leisure opportunities.

“These provide more sustainability with the residential apartments also being built there.

“As we are now seeing an improved market in the Southend area, I think a project of this kind will see a great deal of interest from larger operators and bring further inquiries into Southend from London.”