DEVELOPERS have tried to sell off the site for a £60million seafront project, it has been revealed.

It has led to concerns the move has stalled the Marine Plaza Scheme, on Marine Parade, Southend.

Goldfield Developments are behind the plan. A source revealed how the firm marketed the site for £12million earlier this year. It was on the market for a “few months”, another source said. The key site gained planning permission in 2015 for more than 200 flats along with shops and restaurants. The firm was expected to complete the project, opposite the Kursaal by 2018. It is still being used as a temporary car park.

The Inner London Group, which acts on behalf of Goldfield said the company did not wish to comment.

Southend Council leader John Lamb did. He said: “I’m very disappointed. There has been so many big plans. They acquired all the land there and even bought out some people.

“I would love to see it go forward. The plan was very good with a lot of apartments and retail as well. It would have been a major development.”

“It’s just like with the gas works site, where they pulled everything down and left it like that.

“If they are not going to go ahead they should let someone else get on with it. It really needs to be done it’s a blight on the seafront.”

Mr Lamb suggested new compulsory purchase rules announced in the recent budget could be used to acquire the land.

He said: “It would be nice for the council to take it over, but it’s getting the money to do that. We would need to bring in a developer as a joint venture.

“If we go down the compulsory purchase route it could take two years but if the new rules come in that might be an opportunity. We might be able to acquire it at a reduced price. I would like us to use the site if we had the money.”

Last month, the Government said it was set to get tough on developers who sit on applications which have been approved by local authorities.

Measures aimed at reducing so-called land banking will be discouraged by cutting the time developers can wait before starting work on schemes from three years to two.