A SHELTERED housing complex and tower block are among 262 homes that could be demolished to make way for a new estate in the heart of Southend.

Catherine Lodge and nearby Elizabeth Tower, which occupy a large site in Baxter Avenue, backing onto Victoria Avenue, are set to be knocked down to make way for a large development offering affordable housing for families and homes for the elderly.

Retirement properties in Rosemary Lodge and Charlotte Mews, which has supported flats for over 55s, are also among the six blocks under threat.

Flats in Alexandra Court could also go, according to details included in the Southend Central Area Action Plan - which will shape future development in the town for the next five years.

Genesis Housing Association has told elderly residents, including those living in 55 flats in Catherine Lodge and on the first three floors of Elizabeth Tower, that they may be moved off site while construction is underway or could remain as buildings go up around them.

Sylvia Myers, 91, who has lived in her flat for five years, said she is concerned about the disruption the project will cause.

She said: “I spent £4,000 on doing my flat up.

“I don’t know how they will move us all out and bring us all back, and if we stay we will have all that noise and mess.

“They also want young families to live here. Although all of us love to see our grandchildren but, to be honest, we are always happy to have peace and quiet again.

“It is no place for youngsters, they will only have the High Street to hang around in.

“They just want to create another concrete jungle and to be honest I hope I am dead before this all happens.”

Echo: Sylvia Myers at Catherine Lodge, Baxter Avenue, Southend.

A spokesman for Genesis said residents will be given the chance to have their say on the development.

He said: “Plans are at an extremely early stage and will be subject to internal and external approval.

“We have arranged drop-in sessions to discuss the plans with residents over the coming weeks, and are committed to keeping them and other stakeholders informed throughout the process.

“We are having a very positive dialogue with residents and their families about how these proposals might take shape. “