A LANDMARK deal has been reached which could lead to Southend United's long-anticipated stadium finally being built at Fossetts Farm, near Waitrose. 

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  • The agreement is between Southend Council, Southend United and social housing provider Citizen Housing LLP and Southend United.
  • Under the plan, Roots Hall would be developed with 502 new homes for rent.
  • The new stadium at Fossetts Farm would also be enabled by about 800 homes for rent through the agreement with the council, and potentially hundreds more homes through a separate joint venture between Citizen Housing LLP and a third party.
  • The proposals have the provisional backing of the Government body, Homes England, in the form of a significant investment loan to finance infrastructure and fund the stadium construction on the basis that a substantial quantity of new housing will be built.
  • It is proposed that the first phase of the new stadium comprises 14,000 seats.
  • Homes at the stadium would also benefit from other facilities such as a health centre, convenience store and a community hub at Fossetts Farm.
  • All the housing delivered with the council would be for rent including 30 per cent at affordable rent levels.
  • The agreement would also secure an important long-term income for the Council.
  • Plans for both of the Roots Hall and Fossetts Farm sites are subject to the planning process
  • The revised plans will remove the threat of major out-of-town competition to the town centre.
  • This change is aimed at providing a confidence boost for businesses, landlords and investors in the town centre and on the High Street in particular
  • Citizen Housing specialises in partnering with both the public sector and landowners to deliver housing-led regeneration schemes. Citizen’s development model is strongly focussed on the delivery of much needed affordable housing
  • Southend Council's Cabinet will consider the matter further before the agreements are completed but the next stage of work can now progress

Summary of the proposed arrangements In outline the arrangements with Citizen are as follows:

  1. Southend United Football Club seek planning permission for both developments.
  2. If planning permission is granted, Citizen Housing LLP will facilitate the funding and construction of both sites. The Council will not be required to invest any capital in the development of either site
  3. The council will be granted long leases over the 502 homes at Roots Hall and the c.800 new homes constructed at Fossetts Farm
  4. The rent payable by the council will be set at a substantially discounted level to open market rents therefore enabling the council to benefit from a long-term sustainable income stream from the completed unit
  5. The council will facilitate the management of the leased homes and will sublet the individual units to residential tenants, 30% at affordable rents and the balance at market rents
  6.  The council will have the option to purchase the freehold of the leased homes for £1 at the end of the leases, enabling the Council to continue to meet the needs of the community
  7. The council will not be involved in the stadium construction but a legal framework will ensure that the new stadium is delivered at Fossetts Farm before Roots Hall can close
  8. The council has been represented by Cushman & Wakefield, a global real estate firm, through the negotiations.