Planning approved for transformational ‘Better Queensway’ project in Southend-on-Sea
The green light has been received by Porters Place Southend-on-Sea LLP for the long awaited Better Queensway regeneration project, following approval of its ‘hybrid’ planning application at the council’s development control committee.
Set to bring over £500 million investment into the existing Queensway estate, the re-development will be a catalyst for further improvements to Southend-on-Sea town centre. Outline consent has been given for the masterplan, jointly designed by dRMM and LDA Design, as well as detailed consent for highway changes we have worked on as part of our role as transport and civil engineers.
Following the planning approval, a brand-new fly through video has also been released to help residents of Southend-on-Sea visualise the future plans for the site. The full video can be viewed here.
The approved overall masterplan, which has been developed in consultation with local residents, includes:
- Phased demolition of the four existing tower blocks on the Queensway estate and their replacement with a high-quality development of up to 1,760 modern new homes
- Up to 10,000 square metres of commercial space including retail and cafes that will complement the existing high street retailers; employment space for start-up businesses and creative industries and a creche or nursery
- A new central community concierge
- Attractive new public realm and improved links to the town centre for those travelling from Southend Victoria railway station or on foot or cycle from surrounding streets
- A new urban park and public squares designed by LDA design, the same landscape architects who created the acclaimed Olympic Park in Stratford
- Additional residential car parking
The detailed consent for highway changes approved:
- Phased engineering works designed to remove the roundabout and associated underpass at Queensway/ Sutton Road/ Southchurch Road
- Replacing it with the latest in sustainable highways design to retain four lanes of traffic whilst transforming it into a beautiful, tree-lined avenue including cycle lanes
Helping to meet the needs of affordable housing in Southend-on-Sea, Better Queensway will deliver at least 512 genuinely affordable homes via a mix of 300 social rented homes and 212 intermediate homes (shared equity and shared ownership). The 300 social rented and 12 shared equity homes will be delivered through the S106 planning agreement and 200 shared ownership homes through a contractual commitment in the approved business plan. The Council and Swan are also intending to deliver an additional 100 genuinely affordable homes through a separate contractual agreement.
The plans will also provide a greener and more sustainable Queensway. Not only will every home have its own private outdoor space whether it be a balcony, terrace or garden; there will also be new green spaces including an urban park, 190 new trees and 1,400 metres of new cycle paths along Queensway and Southchurch Road. Electric car charging points, greener energy generation and sustainable construction methods will also improve the overall environmental performance of the development.
Geoff Pearce, Chair of the Porters Place Southend-on-Sea LLP Board and Deputy Chief Executive of Swan Housing Association said: “The Better Queensway regeneration project will transform Southend-on-Sea not only through the re-development of the existing estate but by improving the lives of existing and new residents.
“At a time when many towns are calling for investment to help improve the local area, we are confident that the £500m plus investment in the Better Queensway regeneration will help ensure that Southend-on-Sea doesn’t just recover from Covid-19 but thrives and becomes an exemplar scheme driving economic recovery, well-being and supporting the community.
“Our plans for the Queensway Estate represent a better future – much needed homes, high quality public spaces, greener healthier environments and will support both local residents to benefit from employment and training, and local businesses to grow. We couldn’t be more delighted to have secured the go ahead!.”
Alison Griffin, Chief Executive at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, said: “Key within the Borough’s 2050 ambitions is providing additional housing to meet people’s needs, creating opportunity and prosperity through new jobs and attracting investment to Southend-on-Sea. The Better Queensway regeneration scheme goes a long way to delivering those ambitions and we are pleased to be able to progress the project.”
Jonas Lencer, Director at dRMM and joint masterplan architects for Better Queensway comments: “dRMM working in collaboration with LDA Design are delighted to have received approval for this visionary masterplan for a Better Queensway, which proposes a new model of inner city regeneration to integrate live, work, and play.”