Environment Impact Assessment scoping report submitted for Queensway regeneration

Published Thursday, 7th May 2020

Artists impression of people sitting in Porters Park

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) scoping report for the Better Queensway regeneration scheme has been submitted as part of the preparations for a full planning application.

The EIA scoping report is a technical planning document submitted to look at a wide scope of any and all possible impacts of the project. It’s designed to make sure everything is considered from the new homes being built, to new public spaces for residents and the public to enjoy as well as a range of non-residential uses to help us create a vibrant new area for central Southend-on-Sea.

To do that the EIA scoping report pushes the possibilities of any given scheme to the maximum, for the purposes of the assessment, to make sure every possibility is considered to make it a successful regeneration.

It has been submitted to Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s planning team and is available as a public document on the council’s website.

Geoff Pearce, Chair of Porters Place Southend-on-Sea LLP Board, said: We are delighted to be able to be moving forward with this exciting project. The consultation carried out to date has shown that the local community are keen for us to bring them a regenerated Queensway as soon as possible, so that they can benefit from the new opportunities this will bring. 

“The approach we have taken with the EIA scoping report is to ensure that this will allow us to keep the widest possible range of design options open to us, so we can continue to work with the local community to develop the scheme that is right for them and right for the town.”

The scope of the EIA builds on what Porters Place LLP has previously outlined or consulted on, receiving much positive feedback, and allows for greater flexibility at the planning application stage.

It includes information about the possibility of up to 1,800 new homes on the site, including affordable housing. It considers commercial space to possibly be used as cafes, restaurants, office space, creative studios, crèche or nurseries, and for leisure use. It also looks at the heights of buildings, public open spaces, car parking, and associated infrastructure, such as sustainable drainage systems.

We have listened closely to the priorities identified from the first and second rounds of consultation and the highest priority was to provide new high quality homes, with safe attractive new public spaces for everyone to enjoy from children to older people.

As well as practical environmental impacts such as light and noise pollution, the report also considers the possible impacts on people, communities and businesses, such as the need for additional schools spaces, health care provision. It will assess neighbouring buildings to ensure the proposals are in keeping with the existing environment.

Cllr Ron Woodley, Cabinet Member for transport, capital and inward investment, said: “Just because this document outlines a larger number of properties does not mean that it is written in stone. It is simply part of the standard process for submitting an EIA scoping report, which paves the way to the planning application being submitted.

“With Covid-19 impacting across the world, we need to show the existing Queensway residents and the wider town, that we are still making plans, we are still looking to the future and that the Queensway regeneration is a big part of our vision.”

The EIA scoping report also explains how the report will pave the way for a hybrid planning application to be submitted. A hybrid application means an application containing outline and detailed elements. The outline planning application will be for the demolition of existing buildings and creation of new ones. The detailed application will be for the highways works, such as the engineering works to raise the Queensway underpass to grade.

Cllr Ian Gilbert, Leader of the Council with a responsibility for housing, said: “A hybrid planning application means the core purpose of the regeneration, the new homes, can be approved in principle, while the detailed aspect of the project, the underpass and other technical matters are considered separately. While they are of course connected, it means the application can be separated into more manageable parts.

“The submission of the EIA scoping report is great news. A lot of hard work and effort has gone into getting us to this point and we need to remember that at the heart of this project is the residents; the 440 families who are living on the current estate and the other families in desperate need within Southend-on-Sea for extra homes.”

Residents remain at the heart of the project, with the Queensway Resident Steering Group moving to a virtual meeting set-up in order to continue with engagement.

Graham Kauders, Project Director of the LLP, said: “We are continuing our work to engage with the local community during lockdown to reassure them that our work on this critical project continues. We have been delighted with how the local community and particularly the Queensway Estate’s residents have engaged with us over the last year, through two rounds of consultation and are keen to make sure that momentum continues.

“Our Community Activation Officer James Colwell for example, is currently working with those residents who would like to get involved in the Resident Steering Group on the Estate, to explore how we can work with them virtually whilst we are unable to meet with them face to face. We are committed to making sure that we listen to the residents and deliver a regeneration which builds on their aspirations and needs.”

People with any questions about the EIA scoping work, or anything else linked to Better Queensway, can contact the project team by calling 0344 225 0003, emailing, or visiting the Better Queensway website.