THE team behind the Olympic Park in Stratford are designing a huge “urban park” as part of the £575million redevelopment of Queensway.

The regeneration of Queensway will see 1,760 homes built in the heart of Southend.

A series of huge public space areas will be designed by LDA Designs, which also designed the Olympic Park in Stratford for the 2012 Olympics.

Alongside the homes will be seven areas of public space totalling 8,300 square metres, which is just over the size of a football pitch.

There will also be 190 new trees planted to weave around the walkways between tower blocks.

Independent councillor Ron Woodley, deputy leader of Southend Council, praised the plans.

He said: “I think it will be very good for residents when they live there.

“We need to make sure that the open space and park space are there for the residents and for people when they go and use the walkways to the town centre. It’s something that I think everyone will enjoy, especially residents that live there.

“At the moment there is no public space. It’s just a big concrete block at the moment with a massive road running in between it.

“At the least the road will be surface level and not an underpass running in between it. I think there’s a lot going for it.”

LDA Designs say the park areas are to form a “public arboretum” - a place where trees are cultivated for science and education, with 15 different species of trees.

The firm says it will “add interest” for pedestrians moving through the area, bringing “seasonal diversity” and “long term resilience” for trees in the scheme. There will also be shops, cafes, offices, a nursery, recording studios, a brewery and bakery.

Meg Davidson, Tory spokesman for housing, remains concerned about the traffic flow and the removal of the underpass as part of the scheme.

She said: “If we don’t get the highways route right, that’s going to have a negative impact on the application.

“A great deal of thought has been put into this to make that area of town look something like the Olympic Park, but will it work if we mess up the flow and cause traffic gridlock.

“We have got to cater for all the modes of transport.”

The proposals were approved by councillors last week.