Developers behind a huge seafront project are looking for partner to help get the £60million plan kickstarted, it has been revealed.

However, time is rapidly running out as planning permission granted three years ago will run out at the end of the summer.

Goldfield Developments initially put the Marine Plaza site on Marine Parade, Southend, up for sale last year - but sources claim it has now been taken off the market.

Instead, developers are looking for a business partner to help get the project off the ground.

The key site gained planning permission in 2015 for more than 280 flats along with shops and restaurants. The firm was expected to complete the project, opposite the Kursaal by this year.

However, it is still being used as a temporary car park.

The delays have angered Southend Council leader John Lamb who wants to see work start on the site opposite the Kursaal.

He said: “I am told they are looking for a developer to move it forward. I have said I would be pleased to see it move forward.

“They are leaving it very late before their planning application comes to a close by the end of the summer.

“We are told they are looking at a partnership to help them develop the site.”

Mr Lamb added: “I would love to see the cranes move on to the site.

“They did say they did have a problem so I’m hopefully they are getting through that because it is such a premium site.”

If it finally gets off the ground, Marine Plaza will have a variety of restaurants, bars and shops.

The scheme also comprises 282 homes across six buildings, which range in height from four to 14 storeys.

There will also be a central courtyard.

The site initially was hit by a number of setbacks when it was unable to clear the site of homes after one resident refused to be bought out.

Florence Tall, 77, would not budge despite all her neighbouring properties being derelict or gutted by fire. Her three neighbouring houses went up in flames in 2016 and fire investigators didn’t rule out arson at the time.

The empty properties and gardens had been plagued by vagrants.

Goldfield Developments were not available for comment. Marine Plaza is not the only major development to stall.

Plans to build flats and a hotel on the nearby Esplanade House site have also failed to come to fruition.

That too is being used as a car park after it was bought by Southend Council.