Queensway residents enjoy regeneration launch event
Published Tuesday, 1st October 2019
More than 130 residents living on or near to the Queensway Estate attended a special invitation-only event to meet the organisations involved in the regeneration project.
Representatives from Swan Housing, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and South Essex Homes, who currently manage the site, were on hand to listen to the opinions, queries and concerns of those who know the site and community best.
Residents had the opportunity to express their views for the future on film at the event, which was held between 2pm and 6pm on Thursday 26 September, between three of the four tower blocks and in the Storehouse.
A steel band provided a musical backdrop, as residents enjoyed locally sourced fish and chips and ice cream. A small petting zoo, face painting and art competition was laid on for children.
One of the guests was Cllr Ian Gilbert, leader of the council, with a responsibility for housing and ward councillor for Victoria Ward, where Queensway is located. He said: “I’m pleased the event was family orientated because it encouraged people through the door and the activities meant the children were entertained so their parents could talk and give their views.
“This is such a vital project for the town, but not more so for the residents currently living here, whose future depends on us delivering a better Queensway. We can only do a good job and create an excellent scheme to submit for planning approval, if we have the views and backing of those directly involved and affected.”
Cllr Ron Woodley, cabinet member for transport, capital and inward investment, also attended and added: “As the largest housing regeneration project the Council has even been involved in, it is important that the residents who currently live here are involved in the process as much as possible.
“It was encouraging to see and meet so many residents at the event, engaging with staff and giving their views. A project of this size takes time, but we need to get this right for local residents and the future of the town centre.”
In April 2019 contracts were signed between Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Swan Housing as the preferred bidder for the regeneration project, which will see the demolition of the existing four tower blocks on the estate and creation of a new community much better connected to Southend town centre.
The aim of the Better Queensway scheme is to transform this area of central Southend into a vibrant new community with high quality housing and outdoor space, providing an attractive place for people of all ages to live, work, socialise and play.
John Synnuck, Chief Executive for Swan Housing, said: “Existing residents are the top priority for us. We wanted the opportunity to have this resident-only, focused event to help them realise that we need their expert input into the regeneration plans as they live on the estate and know it better than anyone.
“It was very important the event was family focused and offered everyone an opportunity to relax, have fun, but also discuss anything relating to the regeneration project. It was great to meet so many local people and it is exciting to think what this project will achieve.
“Our next step will be to launch a two-week design consultation period in October and November so local people can help us draw up the proposals for the site ready for further consultation in the New Year. We’re working with Southend-on-Sea Borough Council to get plans in place for this project in 2020.”