A NEW homeless development has been proposed for Southend.

The site off Southchurch Avenue could house 42 people looking to rebuild their lives close to a number of support services.

Homeless charity Harp has submitted a planning application with Southend Council.

Chief Executive Jackie Bliss said: “This site in Southchurch Avenue represents a great opportunity to help homeless people in Southend.

“We’ve chosen it because there is a lack of other available and affordable sites for development in Southend, and this site is particularly appealing due to the proximity to our existing services.

“It was on the open market and commercial developers overlooked the opportunity, presumably because it’s quite a difficult site to develop.

“The service users who will live at this property will be nearing the end of their homelessness journey, and we expect that some of them will be in education or training, and some will be working.”

The application involves redeveloping a large block of garages and number 45 and 47.

The site would be turned into a combination of shared homes and bedsits.

Ms Bliss added: “The service users will all be provided with support to help them make the next step to living independently in the wider community.

“Best of all, by housing those with lower needs in this way, we are able to free up space at the emergency end of our service, to help get more people off the streets.

“We pride ourselves on managing our properties well, and this site will have CCTV which is remotely monitored 24/7, an office which will be staffed during the day, and a roving security presence when the office is not staffed,” she said.

Southend Council’s development committee will determine the planning application later this year.