A housing scheme in Eastwood will be discussed at cabinet (item 8, Tuesday 23 February) following a number of objections to a land appropriation notice.
Since the potential for development at Lundy Close, Eastwood was first discussed in 2019 (cabinet minute 612) - when the potential for up to 31 homes across three sites in the road was identified - the proposed scheme has been revised to between 9 and 12 additional homes on the north site only.
Following the publication of the land appropriation notice, which is required under the Local Government Act 1972, 15 objections were received. The report details the objections and the way in which officers seek to provide solutions to the issues raised, and will be discussed by cabinet, who will be asked to agree recommendations that the project continues.
In it, the report addresses each of the concerns raised within the objections and proposed amendments to the scheme:
- Importance of public space – the proposed building area is just 18% of the total green space available within Lundy Close. If it continues, the project may also include improvements such as a dog walking area, additional planting, and a safe children’s area.
- Environmental impact – removing mature trees is a concern so an external tree consultant carried out an independent survey. It is thought only three trees may possibly need to be removed. Architect drawings may change that number, and any removed trees will be replaced on a two for one basis with semi-mature or mature trees.
- Nature and wildlife – a consultant ecologist has been appointed to carry out further studies of the north plot, where the proposed building work could take place.
- Traffic and parking – new developments in Southend have to meet Government guidelines regarding adequate off-street parking and the project will look to include visitor parking bays.
- Loss of privacy and devaluation – there are strict planning rules in place regarding loss of privacy and light and there is an intention to use screening trees at the rear of the development to increase privacy. There is no evidence that similar previous developments carried out by the Council have devalued neighbouring properties.
Cllr Ian Gilbert, leader of the council with a responsibility for housing, said: “I understand this has been a contentious issue for residents, but we are listening to their concerns and making appropriate amendments to the project.
“There is a demand for homes within Southend-on-Sea and we must strike a balance between listening to the concerns of current residents and creating new Council homes for the families who so badly need them.”