ELECTRIC charging points could line the seafront alongside self-watering “pocket parks” under radical proposals to help Southend go green. 

Plans to transform part of the seafront close to City Beach into a green oasis were unveiled by Southend Council last week and new details have been revealed as part of a consultation with residents. 

As well as making the Marine Parade area more attractive with added greenery, the work will have a host of benefits to protect against surface water flooding after heavy rain. 

The ambitious £2million project, in conjunction with Anglian Water, would see electric charging spaces created flanking both sides of Marine Parade.

Electricity for the spaces would be produced by solar canopies. 

Kursaal ward Labour councillor Matt Dent said: “We should be looking to increase the amount of car charging ports in the city and in busy tourist areas.

“Although the timing is not clear we will be looking to move from petrol to electric in the next decade. It is important that we look to future proof the seafront.

“In regard to the anti-flooding measures though, I do feel this is an optional extra, a cherry on top.

“We do need them as a city though and more and more people are using electric cars, it is something we are going to need but my concern would be if these were to be included over the flooding and sewage works.

“That would concern me as a green-washing exercise,” Mr Dent said.

The plan focuses on “climate resilient” planting, creating a colourful, yet low maintenance green seafront.

Through an advanced rainwater harvesting programme, the proposed green oasis will be self-watering, utilising rainwater collected from roofs, gardens and paving to decrease costs for water usage.

Kursaal ward independent councillor, Tricia Cowdrey, said: “On paper this sounds wonderful. Same as the planters on the High Street.

“It is a lovely plan, and it would be great for Kursaal residents, however, I am sceptical of how this can financially work with the current economic state and the longevity of the green spaces.

“Who is responsible for the re-greening, a few residents are concerned that it will lead to neglected planters and will require a lot of maintenance.

“Some have been a bit sceptical of how this can actually help, as it is part of the flood defences.”