FRUSTRATED residents have slammed a developers’ plan to make changes to its scheme at a controversial homes development in Shoebury.

Developer Taylor Wimpey is behind plans to build 70 new homes at the site of the former Cantel Medical Centre in Campfield Road.

Initially, planning approval included a promise to make 30 per cent of the properties “affordable housing”, however the developer has now applied to alter this part of the scheme.

Instead, 21 of the homes would be “intermediate tenure” – meaning they will be rented at 90 per cent of the market value.

Concerns have been raised that axing any shared ownership or social housing for vulnerable residents will result in the new homes being “out of the reach” of Southend residents.

However a Taylor Wimpey spokesman has said that the developer is actually proposing to retain 30 per cent of affordable housing that shared ownership is potentially being increased - not axed - due to shared ownership homes being classified as intermediate tenure. 

Shoebury resident Tim Fransen said: “It’s bad news for local people who can ill afford the properties. This is another miserable chapter in the story of this development.

“It’s not a surprise the commitment is not fulfilled, why was this not done before the planning permission to see the demand?

“The only people who will be able to afford these homes now are those who are well off, simple as that, its terrible and it shows the cynical nature of Taylor Wimpey, the plans have been dismantled and they have done the bare minimum and shifted the goalposts.”

Major concerns have already been raised about the loss of trees and loss of greenbelt due to the development.

Southend Green councillor Richard Longstaff said: “Southend council needs to be more robust in response to this, They must be careful because the developer is aware that the council is desperate for housing, Southend must send a strong signal.

“My profession is architecture and development and while some people will jump to accusations, developers do play games, developing in this economic climate is difficult and the social housing mechanism is wrong because it piggybacks on developers.

“What Southend Council needs to do is look at a statement by Wimpey as to why they can no longer do this, setting their stall out for why they can’t.”

A Taylor Wimpey spokesperson said: “We remain committed in our efforts to deliver 21 Affordable plots at our upcoming Campfield Road development. 

“Following discussions with Southend Council about how to overcome the challenges in securing an Affordable Housing partner for the housing mix set out in the planning consent, we have applied to vary the Affordable Rent tenure to Intermediate.

“We hope that this will enable an agreement to be reached with a Housing Association for the delivery of the new homes.”