Search for Better Queensway partner set to start

Published Tuesday, 6th February 2018

Artist impression of Queensway

The search for a joint venture development partner to help deliver the Better Queensway regeneration project is set to start in March.

Cabinet councillors will discuss the latest project update next week (Tuesday 13 February) where they will also note feedback from the public consultation exercise that took place in late 2017.

This follows the news last week that the council was successful in its bid for £15m of Government housing infrastructure funding to help deliver the project.

If agreed, procurement documents will be finalised and the procurement process will be publicly launched before the end of March, with a preferred bidder planned to be announced by Spring 2019.

Councillors, residents and businesses received updates earlier today (Monday 5 February), where it was confirmed how the preferred transport layout would retain four lanes in total heading to and from the seafront, and the cabinet report sets out a summary of comments made during public consultation and how they have fed into the work to date and will continue to do so.

Cllr Ann Holland, executive councillor for culture, tourism and the economy, says: “This is the largest regeneration scheme being undertaken in the Borough since the 1960’s and it is vital we get this right.  That is why we have taken time to consult with a variety of stakeholders through engagement and the formal public consultation at the end of 2017. We also want to continue listening to views as we go through the process.

“I am very pleased that we have got to this stage and look forward to starting the official search for a development partner by the end of March.”

Councillors will also discuss the recommendation to include The Range site within the project boundary. If approved this would provide the opportunity of a larger regeneration site and will allow the council to ask a joint venture development partner to provide more than the 441 affordable housing currently provided within the estate.

Cllr Ann Holland, executive councillor for culture, tourism and the economy, says: “We purchased the freehold in August 2017 as part of our commercial property investment programme to bring new income into the council, and because of the clear long-term opportunities the site offered in regards to the Better Queensway regeneration.

“We are now recommending that this site is included within the overall development area and considered part of the regeneration opportunity as we search for a joint venture partner. We have written to the Range to inform them of this and also to reassure them and their staff that we see them as a key retailer for Southend-on-Sea, both now and in the future, that we are still at a very early stage, and we will involve them as we move further forward with our plans.”