LONG-awaited construction of Southend’s Marine Plaza will begin after summer, the developer has pledged.

The £100million seafront development has been hit with numerous delays since planning permission was granted in 2015 – but firm bosses insist the wait will soon be over.

Work is yet to begin on the ambitious seafront project which includes plans for 282 apartments, restaurants, cafes, and bars overlooking the Golden Mile.


Larry Fentiman, site developer at the Inner London Group, has told the Echo builders will be on site “after the summer break”, with September a slated date for construction – works will take at least four years to complete.

Echo: Work beginning soon? - The Marine Plaza plansWork beginning soon? - The Marine Plaza plans

But Kursaal ward councillor Matt Dent is not confident the group will keep to its latest promise.

“Every few months the Inner London Group says it will start construction, and they never do. I’ll believe it when I see it,” he said.

“It is a top priority to get something happening on this site, it has been derelict for years," he added.

“In that time, it has become a magnet for anti-social behaviour which has long plagued residents in the area.”

Echo: Anti-social hotspot - The siteAnti-social hotspot - The site

The Inner London Group is also set to finalise the purchase of 21a Southchurch Avenue, next to the Marine Plaza site, according to council documents.

Firm bosses have remained tight-lipped on plans for the land, with the purchase yet to be completed.

Marine Plaza is being built on the site of a derelict former play area, as well as the Foresters Arms pub and a temporary car park opposite the Kursaal.

The Inner London Group paid £2.25million for the site.

The original plans were for 290 flats, with predictions in February 2014 the work would begin within six months of permission being granted.

Firm bosses have previously blamed Brexit, the baking crisis, and the coronavirus pandemic for the long delays in the project.

Mr Dent added: “If it continues to languish empty and devoid of life, with the problems around anti-social behaviour growing worse, then I think the council needs to seriously consider a compulsory purchase order.

"Although I understand that would come with a massive price tag.”