A CHARITY will today submit a planning application for a £15million hospice on green belt land in Leigh.

Havens Hospices, which runs Fair Havens adult hospice, in Westcliff, and Little Havens Children’s Hospice, in Thundersley, wants to build the 16-bed adult hospice on land off Belton Way West, adjoining Castle Drive, in Leigh.

Despite opposition from some opposed to green belt development, the charity said it decided on the site after considering more than 80 others.

Bosses say they have gathered strong public support with a petition signed by more than 20,000 people.

The planning application submitted to Southend Council will outline the charity’s hopes for the site, which is owned by the Salvation Army and will be sold to Havens should the plans be approved.

Chief executive Andy Smith said: “If the charity is successful in its application to build a new adult hospice, Fair Havens will be able to care for twice as many patients as before.

“The adequacy of our building on Chalkwell Avenue is failing and Fair Havens is the only organisation in Southend entirely devoted to providing specialist care to adults with life-limiting illnesses and their families. It is therefore our duty to ensure we can meet the increasing demand of hospice care in the future.”

Southend Council has yet to set a target date for a decision, but it is expected to be in December.

Public sessions displaying the plans will be held at Southend Central Library in Victoria Avenue from 1pm to 7pm on October 14 and 9pm to 5pm on October 15. For more information visit www.havenshospices.org.uk/ newfairhavens