EXCITING details of plans for Southend United F C’s new stadium have been exclusively revealed to the Echo - the club’s chairman reassured fans the proposals remain on track and have in no way faltered.

Ron Martin said it was quite the opposite and that’s why the club has recently been able to submit its detailed planning application.

Mr Martin has categorically confirmed that his postponement of talks with British Land, last October, will NOT affect plans for the development of Fossetts Farm and the decision was taken in the best interest of the club.

The project will include flats, shops, a hotel and multi-screen cinema in addition to a magnificent stadium by leading stadium designers Populous who were responsible for Arsenal’s Emirates ground and currently working on Tottenham’s new stadium.

The plans, which were lodged with the council at the end of April have now been registered by planning officers - but will not be made available to the public for several days due to their size and scope.

However, in an exclusive interview with the Echo, Mr Martin revealed some of the exciting new details of the club’s latest application, which includes changing the position of the stadium.

He said: “We have rotated the stadium through about 110 degrees, adding further protection to the nearby Garden of Remembrance, and to enable the cinema to sit adjacent to the retail at the north of the site. In doing so we have created a large public plaza linking the retail to form one comprehensive development providing a sense of place of which the town can be proud.” The amount of retail space has been increased and designed, in terms of layout, to reflect the forecast demand too.

“The plans also provide for a Hotel by Hilton. We have not, as yet, entered into a contractual arrangement, although Hilton are the identified party and we have designed the proposal according to the Hilton’s brand requirements and specification in liaison with Hilton’s internal architects.”

Earlier this year the Echo announced the development would include some 160 homes in the stadium’s North Stand and a 107 bedroom hotel.

However Mr Martin advised the proposals also include three stand alone apartment blocks at the entrance to the stadium development including one adjacent and facing onto the plaza.

Mr Martin added: “We have provided for some 200 further residential units in three blocks next to the stadium making the whole scheme when coupled with the retail and leisure a destination of great quality with the centrepiece stadium to deliver top flight football in the town for many generations to come.”

The scheme will require careful planning and begins with the construction of a new training ground.

The club will fund the first stage of the stadium before vacating Roots Hall.

A development there of some 500 to 600 homes at Roots Hall will help fund the proposal and kick-start the next phase of the stadium plans with the backing of the retail development and which may be sold to British Land.

Mr Martin said: “We will create value via the planning application enabling us to bridge against the asset under traditional debt funding to ensure a smooth transition from Roots Hall to the new stadium.

“We will build the first phase of the stadium move and then sell Roots Hall to discharge the position.

“The balance of funding for stage two aided by the retail element and the further enabling development under a carefully structured programme and cost planning.”