WHILST the negotiations between Southend Council and the Martin family seem to have gone on forever, there is a necessary end required for all parties.

The council want homes and to see the football club survive.

Fans and the community of Southend benefit enormously from having an established football club in the area as well as lots of new homes, and the Martin family get to make lots of money from the deal.

It’s not the way that two thirds of the interested parties would have it, but it’s where we are.

The council should be commended for their work in delivering on housing targets while preserving a local, cultural institution that benefits tens of thousands of people locally and beyond.

While some might suggest the deal for the council is poor, the truth is that too many low-quality homes have been built in recent years and if (and it is an if) Fossetts can ever be built then any and all new dwellings will work to alleviate pressure on a beyond-saturated housing market.

That the council is able to do this, and work to ensure that the club directly benefits from the construction of the project, should be seen as wonderful news.

The scepticism surrounding the affordable housing percentages is well-founded but developers often renege on their approved plans after the fact and a level of pragmatism is often needed to ensure that deals are agreed.

High quality housing in one area eases pressures in others, allowing people the chance to improve their living situation, thus freeing up more modest accommodation elsewhere.

No doubt if more affordable housing had been proposed then the usual snobby Nimbys. Certain sections of the public will always complain.

Ron may look like a winner, but the success of the project may only lift his head above water as those he has borrowed from over the years have circled like vultures more recently.

New housing is good and the football club will survive and in doing so Southend City Council are close to doing what so many other local authorities haven’t – sustaining and improving the living conditions in Southend.

True public service. Southend United will benefit from this arrangement and the people of Southend will too.