A DEVELOPER’S hopes of getting the go-ahead for two blocks of flats in the centre of Southend have been dashed.

Developer Trafalgar Traditional Homes wanted to build 18 flats across two three-storey blocks on Sutton Road in Southend, close to the junction with East Street.

The company claimed the demolition of old industrial buildings to transform them into flats would have a “positive impact on the neighbourhood”.

However, the developer’s plans fell through because there was only going to be 12 parking spaces for the 18 properties.

Trafalgar insisted the site is close to public transport including bus stops and the Prittlewell train station.

But Southend Council planning officers were unconvinced.

In their refusal notice, they said limited parking would “increase the demand for on-street parking, leading to increased parking stress.

They added: “This would be materially harmful to highway safety, the free flow of traffic and the amenities of existing and future occupiers.”

Further concerns were also raised about the lack of affordable housing in the plans.

The decision on planning permission would usually have been made by councillors on the development control committee but the Covid-19 outbreak meant planning officers had to make the decision.

Labour councillor Jennifer Beck, who represents Victoria ward on Southend Council and is a member of the development control committee, said she trusts that officers would have acted “fairly” in making the decision over the application.

She said: “Car parking provision and access to various schemes is a subject that affects many residents within Victoria ward and indeed across the borough.

“In these exceptional circumstances of meetings being delayed or decisions delegated under emergency protocols, I trust the officers and leaders to act fairly.

“I welcome the new developments along Sutton Road in general but on street parking is limited.

“It therefore put a more emphasis on any new development being able to provide spaces for new residents without creating harm to overall provision.”