Southend Museum planning application to be submitted

Artist's impression of the new Southend museum building The designs for the museum see it built into the side of the cliffs

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A planning application for a new museum at an Essex resort will be submitted "imminently", a council has said.

Southend Borough Council hopes to build the £35m museum into a section of cliffs on the town's seafront by the end of the decade.

It would house artefacts from a Saxon burial ground discovered in the town in 2003, as well as an art gallery, conference rooms and planetarium.

Opponents to the plans said it was an unsuitable location for the museum.

The building would be located in the Cliff Gardens area of the seafront.

Construction work would coincide with £3.2m repairs to a section of the cliffs which were damaged by a landslip in 2002 and will form the back wall of the museum.

Glass pots found in the Saxon burial chamber in Priory Park in 2003 These glass pots were among the artefacts found in the Saxon burial ground

The council said it could not be specific as to when the application to its development control committee would go in but added the submission would be made "imminently".

Mark Sharp, from the Saxon Kings in Priory Park group, said he was sceptical the money would be found to finance the project.

He also questioned the location of the museum housing the Saxon remains, which date back to 600AD.

"The idea of putting them on the seafront is completely inappropriate," Mr Sharp said.

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