AN EYESORE furniture shop has been razed to the ground to make way for a plush block of flats.

The former Les and Gary’s furniture store, near Westcliff Library in London Road, has been demolished for the new development.

Plans were approved by Southend Council back in July 2022 for a new three and five-storey development of 20 flats.

It will be split into a number of different sized flats including five one-bedroom, six two-bedroom, and nine three-bedroom. There will also be a commercial space on the ground floor.

Before being granted, the plans received a number of objections from neighbouring properties.

Aston Line, Labour councillor for Westborough ward, agreed the building had become an eyesore and needed to go, but still had concerns over the development.

He said: “Obviously the demolition itself needed to happen as the building had been neglected for quite some time.

“It was becoming quite an eyesore, there was some pretty vulgar graffiti on it, which had been done from the inside, and so the council couldn’t do anything to rectify it.

“But in relation to the development, which is going there, I personally objected to the plans for the flats on the grounds of height and bulk.

“They are putting an additional storey on top of it which I was totally opposed to as I believed it could overshadow our beautiful, listed building which is Westcliff library.

“I know residents have concerns about parking too, and I share those concerns.

“I just hope the developer is responsible.”

The scheme is also set to provide off-street parking for 20 vehicles in an undercroft area behind the commercial unit including two disabled spaces.

This would all be accessed from Fleetwood Avenue via an existing access.

Les and Gary’s was founded by Les Harvey and Gary Bell back in 1976.

In 2016, the store relocated to a smaller unit at 631 London Road.

This came after it was taken over by Gary Bell’s daughter and her fiancée following his retirement.

Before Les and Gary’s opened, the site was a car showroom in the 1980s.