Southend-on-Sea Borough Council has announced it has found a development partner to help regenerate the Queensway area in the centre of the town.
Swan Housing Association was named as preferred bidder in early 2019 after the council ran a 10-month procurement project.
Swan Housing will engage in a partnership with the council, and they will be partly responsible for the delivery of a wide range of new constructions – including lots of homes.
The council’s project also focuses on delivering changes to the local infrastructure in the area, such as by building better connections between Queensway and local thoroughfares like Southchurch Road. In addition, some local roads will have their systems changed when the scheme gets underway.
Four existing tower blocks will need to be demolished as part of the regeneration scheme. Tenants who currently live in the council accommodation on the site will be given an opportunity to move back in via an assured tenancy with identical terms as their current ones.
According to councillors, the new partnership will be a great way to enable regeneration to proceed.
“This is another important milestone in the regeneration of the Queensway estate and we look forward to working together to deliver this regeneration,” said Andy Lewis, deputy chief executive of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council.
“This project will not only provide better housing and a better place for those currently living on the estate, it will also help to make this area a key entrance into our town centre and connect what will be a thriving new community with it and help to deliver a key part of our resident led ambition for 2050.”
This project, the largest regeneration project in Southend’s history, has experienced delays thanks to the pandemic. There has also been an issue with plans for the underpass, causing conservative councilors to make a U turn and withdraw their support. Approval for this major regeneration project is yet t0 be finalised.
As well as major developments such as the Queensway regeneration scheme, Southend Council has also invested in a range of other construction projects both large and small.
The Belton Hills steps in Leigh on Sea, for example, are now replaced thanks to an ambitious engineering project carried out by the contractor Marlborough.
The scheme was launched following a recent decline in the quality of the steps. As well as building new steps, the contractors working on the site will construct new paths around the steps and also add some piling to ensure that the ground which bears the weight of the steps can do so adequately. They will also give the area a modern twist by embedding state of the art LED lighting into the area, and they will also add new handrails for ease of access and safety.
“We are delighted to re-open the steps and make that route accessible again for members of the public,” said Councillor Lesley Salter, commenting on the development.
“With the evenings drawing in, it is important we have been able to provide a safe and well-lit route for commuters and residents alike. We must thank our contractor, Marlborough, who have worked hard to ensure that the works were completed on time and in a professional manner. The new steps look fantastic and I am sure residents and commuters will agree.”
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