Proposals for the Better Queensway regeneration project were outlined yesterday, in a series of briefings and a newsletter delivered to residents on the estate.
The proposals will be considered by the council’s shareholder board next week (Shareholder Board, Thursday 25 June).
It is an opportunity for Porters Place Southend-on-Sea LLP to formally present the plans and compare them with the original requirements set out in the procurement process and the objectives for the scheme in the initial business plan.
This is an important part of the democratic process and the final stage before the hybrid planning application can be submitted by the LLP.
Geoff Pearce, Chair of the Porters Place Southend-on-Sea LLP Board, said: “This reporting process ensures the plans that we have developed following wide ranging consultation will deliver on the objectives and requirements the Council set for the estate. It also paves the way for us to submit our hybrid planning application next month.
“As ever the residents and their feedback have been central to our approach and their voices are echoed in the proposals. We are committed at to getting this project right, not just for the existing residents of Queensway, but for whole of Southend-on-Sea ensuring the £500m we will be investing in Southend supports a bright future for the town.”
Cllr Ian Gilbert, leader of the council, added: “We have said repeatedly how important the Better Queensway project is for the future of our town and its residents. Seven years of hard work has led us to this point and an initial planning application is to be submitted very soon.
“We need to be sure the project still delivers what we intended and especially in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, we need to be sure that it can be delivered on time and on budget. As 50/50 shareholders with Swan Housing Association, we have a responsibility to make sure we are doing everything we can to fulfil our obligations, while protecting the project and looking after the interests of our residents.
“A commitment was made by the Council in February 2019 to maximise the number of affordable homes within the scheme, and I am therefore very pleased to say that we will be delivering on that. As a partnership we are working on a memorandum of understanding to provide at least 100 more socially rented properties to the numbers proposed in this report. This would mean the scheme delivering over 600 affordable homes for local people, of which a high proportion will be social rent.”
The key points outlined in the proposals are as follows:
- Around 1,669 homes, of which 512 will be affordable homes (31% affordable).
- A range of building heights and types, ranging from three to 18 storeys of residential accommodation.
- Every new home to have private outside space with a garden, a terrace or a balcony, depending on location.
- Parking spaces increased from the current ratio of 0.25 per home, to 0.7 spaces per home.
- Three new key public green spaces, including a new Station Plaza.
- The road layout of Queensway brought up to surface level, with a tree lined highway retaining four lanes of traffic.
- New dedicated off-street cycle lanes and pedestrian walkways on each side of the Queensway.
- A mix of flexible, commercial, enterprise and cultural space to complement the town centre and support the future residents of the new scheme.
- Environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions to improve energy efficiency for the estate, including electric vehicle charging points and sustainable urban drainage systems.
Quantock would be the first tower block to be demolished, subject to planning application approval.
In addition, a memorandum of understanding is being drawn up for an extra 100 socially rented homes.
Cllr Ron Woodley, cabinet member for transport, capital and inward investment, said: “Subject to planning approval, we could see building work begin in 2021 and residents moving into their new homes by 2023. Once residents from Quantock have moved to their new homes, it will be demolished to make way for the next phase of homes. It’s an exciting time for the project and the culmination of years of work and planning.”
John Synnuck, Chief Executive of Swan Housing Association commented: “We are delighted to be able to share our plans for the future of the Queensway Estate – this is a real milestone for us as a project team. After consulting with over 600 stakeholders and really understanding the needs of the local community, we are proud that the plans and images outlined in the video we are releasing today provide a first insight into just how brilliant the regenerated Queensway estate will be.”