UP to 400 extra homes could be built next to Southend United’s new stadium after land earmarked for a health centre went on the market.

Cash-strapped Southend Hospital gave up on its plans to use 15 acres of land at Fossetts Farm for a diagnostic and treatment centre back in 2014.

It is now moving forward with selling the site, off Fossetts Way, which neighbours the proposed football stadium – where 240 new homes are already planned.

Mark Flewitt, councillor responsible for housing, planning and public protection services, said the proposals for the NHS land are at an early stage.

They will be considered by cabinet next week.

He said: “It could be a potential development, but this is just a development brief. It’s just the start and could change into something different.

“It is an opportunity for building more homes so we are quite interested in that. The NHS didn’t want to go ahead with their plans and it is not protected land so it could have about 400 homes.”

According to a briefing document submitted to the council, a mix of two, three and four-storey homes could be built on the former green belt land, which backs onto Waitrose, on Eastern Avenue.

Around 30 per cent of the homes, ranging from one to four-bedrooms, will be affordable.

The plans will be scrutinised to ensure they fit in with the borough’s future housing needs.

Mr Flewitt added: “We will be looking at things like infrastructure and how much the roads can take and there will quality issues so all of those things will be looked at.”

Perry Hegarty, head of estates at Southend Hospital, said selling off the site would free up cash to plough into services.

He said: “Southend Hospital owns a parcel of vacant land of at Fossetts Way.

“Approval for the construction of a diagnostic and treatment centre was granted in 2005, however the development of the centre was not progressed as funding was not available.

“The land is no longer required for the trust’s operational requirements and is now surplus.

“It should be noted that central Government requires the trust to sell surplus assets to reduce the demands on central funding. Therefore, the trust has the intention of selling the land and utilise the income for the direct provision of healthcare.”

Ann Holland, deputy leader of Southend Council and Southchurch ward councillor, said she is concerned about the amount of traffic on Royal Artillery Way and Eastern Avenue if the development goes ahead alongside the new Southend United stadium build.

She said: “We need new homes but there are also concerns about infrastructure.”