Essex

Southend United: Deal struck for long-awaited new stadium

Fossetts Farm Image copyright SOuthend United
Image caption The original planning application for the stadium at Fossetts Farm was submitted in May 2017

A deal has been struck between a football club and councillors to build a long-awaited new stadium and homes.

More than 1,300 homes will be built in the area around the stadium at Fossetts Farm, in the deal between Southend United, the borough council and social housing provider Citizen Housing.

Previous plans included a retail area which has been axed, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

The deal has been praised as a "glimmer of light... in uncertain times".

The authority will gain long-term income from managing 500 homes on the current Roots Hall site and 800 surrounding the new stadium, off Eastern Avenue.

Southend United will be get funding from Homes England to finance the ground.

Labour councillor Ian Gilbert, leader of the council, said the deal was a "win-win situation" for the parties involved.

Ron Martin, chairman of Southend United, said: "We listened to the council's concerns, in particular, the impact of the proposed enabling retail development on the town centre.

"The collaborative approach achieved with the council, together with our other partners, will deliver a project that I believe the people of Southend will be very proud of."

Image copyright Southend United
Image caption Thousands of fans signed a letter of support for the plans back in 2018

Citizen Housing said the plans would provide 400 "truly affordable homes" while Dennis Baldry, chairman of Southend Business Improvement District, called the deal "a glimmer of light in these dark and uncertain times".

The club will now seek planning permission for both sites before work can begin.

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