Controversial plans for a new £50 million year-round leisure development in Southend have taken a step closer to reality following the backing of the Borough Council’s Development Control Committee.

Developer Turnstones entered into an agreement with Southend Borough Council to redevelop the site, with planning permission required before the contract expired.

However, following the deferral of the application at a Committee Meeting held on 15 January 2020, the contract period lapsed. Turnstones therefore appealed to the Planning Inspectorate on the basis of non-determination, at which point the Government asked Southend Borough Council to reconsider the plans at Committee level.

Members could only vote for or against the proposal, with a deferral not an option.

After speakers were heard both for and against the proposal, the Committee voted 9 to 7 in favour of the scheme, which also had the endorsement of the Planning Officers who had recommended approval.

The scheme includes:

– 11-screen Empire Cinema with Imax

– Hollywood Bowl

– 80-bedroom Travelodge hotel

– 10 Restaurants

– Climbing Wall

– Indoor Golf

– New public realm

– 555 space multi-storey car park

A final decision on the appeal will now be made by the Secretary of State.

28 May 2020