Blind welfare survey + 11 pus deadline
Porters Place Southend-on-Sea LLP - a joint venture between Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Swan Housing Association - has submitted a ‘hybrid’ planning application for the £500 million Better Queensway regeneration project.
The application will be determined by the Council’s Development Control Committee in the coming months. This hybrid application will establish the principle of regenerating the site and the overall masterplan, as well as the details of the highway changes. Over the lifetime of the project, Porters Place LLP will submit a number of further detailed planning applications for the various phases of development.
Should the plans be approved, the four tower blocks that form the current Queensway estate would be demolished in stages and replaced with a high-quality development of up to 1,760 modern new homes, all of which will have their own private outdoor space whether it be a balcony, terrace or garden. The development will also create attractive new public space and improved links to the town centre for those travelling from nearby streets.
The plans include new homes for all secure tenants and leaseholders currently living on the estate, as well as additional new affordable housing for Southend-on-Sea and homes for private sale aimed at local buyers.
The LLP will deliver 512 genuinely affordable homes with a mix of 300 social rented homes and 212 intermediate units (shared equity and shared ownership). The 300 social rented and 12 shared equity homes will be delivered through a planning agreement and 200 shared ownership homes through the 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 estate would be managed from a new central concierge with CCTV, ground maintenance and concierge staff on hand, eliminating residents’ current issues with the estate not being fit for purpose.
There would be safe play areas created for children and additional ’pocket parks’ to provide safe and enjoyable key walking routes for all, creative spaces to encourage people of all ages to learn and thrive, helping to boost employment and local investment, and spaces for local entrepreneurs to grow their business.
Sustainability will play a huge part in the project. The new homes will be energy-efficient and economical to run, while high-quality green spaces, the planting of 190 new trees, the installation of electric car charging and sustainable construction methods will improve the overall environment 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:
“This is a huge opportunity for this area to transform into a vibrant regenerated centre which will provide hundreds of much needed high quality new homes for those living and growing up on the existing Queensway estate, additional affordable and private homes and high-quality public realm and safe places for everyone to enjoy. As Southend-on-Sea responds to the impact of COVID-19, this regeneration will draw in circa £500m investment into the centre of Southend and help ensure a brighter future not just for the Queensway estate but also the wider communities of Southend.”
“After over 12 months of consulting with residents, the local and wider community and stakeholders, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council will now consider our application as the Local Planning Authority. We hope to receive approval in early 2021 so work can begin to transform this significant area of Southend town centre into something which truly reflects the spirit of Southend-on-Sea and can be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.
Cllr Ian Gilbert, Leader of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, welcomed the submission of the planning application. He said:
“The Better Queensway project is the largest housing-led regeneration project in Southend’s history. It has significant potential to improve life for residents and transform an aging and outdated part of our town centre into a thriving and attractive neighbourhood that we can all be proud of.
“This council has made it a priority to maximise the number of genuinely affordable homes to be delivered within the project and I am pleased to confirm that, in addition to the 512 affordable homes outlined through the planning application, we are also committed to delivering an extra 100 genuinely affordable homes through a separate contractual arrangement.
“It has taken us seven years to get to this stage, during which time we have received invaluable input from residents, businesses and community leaders about the sort of neighbourhood and community they wish to create and would see their families grow up in. And for that I must offer a massive thank-you. It is now time to take it further forwards and deliver.”
Cllr Ron Woodley, Deputy Leader of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, said:
“This is a very exciting time for this project and those living on the estate, and is the culmination of years of work and planning. I am very pleased to see that this application has now been submitted
“Due to the huge scale of the project, it will take planning officers some time to fully assess this before statutory consultation takes place and it goes to the Council’s Development Control Committee to determine. It will then be incumbent on the committee to decide the planning application on its merits.”
You can view the application on the Council’s planning portal.
Porters Place Southend-on-Sea LLP is inviting residents, the local and wider community and stakeholders throughout Southend to pledge their support on the Better Queensway website www.betterqueensway.co.uk where you can also find out more about the regeneration project.
The council is reviewing all potential dog control measures within the Borough and wants to hear what residents think.
Current dog control orders, which include rules about dogs on leads, clearing up mess and the exclusion of dogs from certain public areas, including beaches, sports areas and play parks, ended in October. The council now wants views on whether people think an order is necessary and if so, whether there needs to be any changes, additions or exclusions to the previous restrictions
Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment and planning, says: “The Council ackno wledges and appreciates that most dog owners are responsible, properly control their dogs and clear up any dog fouling. However, it is important to identify and address the problems caused by irresponsible dog owners, and a PSPO is a potential way to address this.
“The previous orders in relation to dog control expired in October 2020 and we are now embarking on a consultation in respect of the potential control of dogs in the Borough which, if approved, will last for up to three years. The consultation is open to all residents and businesses, so please do have your say.”
The consultation is available to view here for four weeks: https://yoursay.southend.gov.uk/pspo-dog-control
Major works have been completed to create a much-improved parking area at Southchurch Park East car park.
The council’s term contractor Marlborough Highways Ltd started improvement works in August to resurface the existing car park, which was gravel-surfaced, heavily potholed and - as there were no marked bays - could only accommodate ad-hoc parking, reducing the number of vehicles that could park at any one-time.
The work, which was completed at the end of October, has seen the parking area fully resurfaced and a total of 211 parking bays provided. The work took place within the same footprint of the existing car park, meaning no green space has been lost as part of the project. Infrastructure for six electric charging points have been installed and will become available shortly, acknowledging the council’s continued commitment to promoting the use of electric vehicles across the town.
A new dedicated footpath from Lifstan Way has been created to provide pedestrian access to the open space all year round, and also links with the existing footpath that leads to Greenways School, which is used by some parents as part of the school run.
Cllr Ron Woodley, cabinet member for transport, capital and inward investment, said: “This car park has needed work for some time now, so I am delighted to see it ready for use, and the completion of a project funded through our capital programme and through European Funding programme SPONGE.
“The improved layout will benefit not only visitors to Southchurch Park East and our Green Flag Southchurch Park opposite it, but also local parents who use the car park for the school. The dedicated footpath will benefit parents and all park users greatly and I’m pleased this has been completed.
“The car park will also provide additional parking for seafront visitors throughout the busier summer months to support our desire to encourage people to enjoy the entire length of the seafront and beach.
“One of the concerns of local residents was that the work would encroach on the existing green space. We have always been absolutely clear that we would in no way allow the work to impact on the green space and our parks. Our parks team are completing the planting of 50 trees with associated landscaping to the perimeter of the car park which will provide greater green coverage.
“As we continue to work towards creating a carbon-neutral town by 2030, it is important we intensify the roll-out of electric car charging points to keep up with expected future demand.”
The car park has six E-charging points and wiring has been installed to allow for additional E-charging points as demand grows over the coming years, without the need to dig up the car park.
Residents with an interest in starting up a career in the care sector are being urged to register their interest in a successful career-starting project.
The Sector Based Work Academy in Care is a joint project between Job Centre Plus, Southend Adult Community College, and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and is a four-week programme aimed at providing job opportunities within the care industry. Thirteen different care homes and domiciliary agencies took part in the last course project which is currently recruiting for its next course starting in January.
Due to COVID restrictions the course is delivered virtually. The first week is an induction, then in the second week students undertake a course that covers the basics of working in the rewarding and dynamic care industry. Students then have a formal mock interview, and then complete the course with a guaranteed job interview with one or more of the care organisations taking part in the project – with one student having five interviews.
The project ran for the fourth time throughout October, where nine of the 12 students secured a job in the care sector.
Following this, the council is now urging anyone interested in taking part in the next course, scheduled for January 2021, to contact [email protected]
“This collaborative project enables local people to have the opportunity to work in a sector like no other, and I would urge anyone with an interest in care, or even someone looking for a career change, to register an interest in the next course.”
One student, Melusi, took part in the project and had five job interviews. He said: “This was a brilliant course that helped me to develop skills that I didn’t have, and I would strongly recommend this course to anyone that is interested in going into a career in care”
Special thanks to the 13 care homes and domiciliary agencies which took part in this project - Ashley Care, SPDNS Homecare, Doris Jones, Southend Care (Complex Intervention Service), Concept Care Solutions, Bluebird Care, Home Instead Senior Care, Yowsun Care, ENS Recruitment, Priory House, Delaware House, Meteor Rest Home, and Silverpoint Court Residential Care Centre. If you are a care setting and would like to be involved in the next programme please email us on [email protected]
Southend Youth Council members have taken part in this year’s virtual Make your Mark voting, organised by the British Youth Council.
The Make your Mark campaign, normally organised during September but delayed due to the pandemic and has been carried out online this year, is the biggest consultation of young people in the UK every year. The campaign allows people aged between 11-18 to cast their vote on one national issue and one local issue out of a selection provided.
The idea of the scheme is to get young people to have their say on issues that affect them, which will then get debated by members of Youth Parliament. Members of the Youth Council have already voted during their November meeting, and the scheme is supported by the UK Parliament.
Scott Kebbell, member of Youth Parliament for Southend, said this about the campaign: “I think now more than ever Make your Mark is a great way for young people to get their views heard and express how they feel. It presents a unique opportunity for young people to effect change where we feel we need it most and in an ever changing post-Covid world we live in, its right that young people’s priorities are considered in shaping the future.”
Madi Faulkner-Hatt, Youth Mayor of Southend, commented on the scheme, saying: “Make your Mark is a chance for young people to get involved in important issues in the country and their community, and aid in changing their future. I ask that everyone who has the chance to have their say does get involved and help make change in a time where little is certain.”
Anyone between the age of 11-18 can vote online until Monday 30 November via the UK Parliament Week Website.
Pupils from Earls Hall Primary School gained an unexpected surprise when they returned to school after the recent half-term holidays – a green wall had been added to the outside of their school building. The new feature at Earls Hall was funded through a project called Cool Towns, which is co-financed by the Interreg 2 Seas programme and has helped the school to raise awareness about climate change to their pupils.
The Cool Towns project is designed to highlight the future impacts of heat stress, that are likely to be felt on a more frequent basis across the UK’s cities and towns as a direct result of climate change. Increasing the volume of green space across an urban landscape, for example by greening buildings, has been shown to have the positive impact of reducing heat stress by cooling the immediate area.
The green wall was awarded to the school for their participation in Better Planet Schools. Delivered in partnership with the Young People’s Trust for the Environment, this project provides completely free learning materials, lesson plans and environmental challenges for pupils at participating primary schools in Southend.
It was the second prize that has been awarded to a school in the borough through Better Planet Schools; in February pupils from Chalkwell Hall Juniors teamed up with leading mural artist Louis Masai, to create a mural of a Bluefin Tuna in the school grounds. The Bluefin Tuna was chosen as the subject of the mural because of Southend’s seaside position, and to raise awareness of the endangered status of the species.
Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment and planning said: “The Green Wall concept, which we hope to rollout with other schools, is a wonderfully visual way of firing our children’s interest and learning experience of their environment. We look forward to more projects like this in the future, not just in schools but with other buildings too and we are happy to work with others to further our aim of making Southend a Green City”.
For more information about the Cool Towns project, visit www.cooltowns.eu
Local residents are being asked to give their views on the Borough’s 14 conservation areas.
The council has a duty to review existing conservation areas to ensure they are up to date and relevant. New and updated draft ‘conservation area appraisals’ have been prepared as part of this review and a public consultation will run from today (Friday 20 November 2020) – Friday 22 January 2021 seeking views on them.
Conservation areas are parts of the country with special architectural and historical significance. They are designated to allow local authorities to manage and protect them with extra planning controls and considerations.
Feedback and comments received from the consultation will help the council understand local views on the appraisals, the conservation areas themselves and whether there is anything else to consider in terms of relevant local history.
When concluded, the appraisals will also form part of the evidence base for the new Southend Local Plan.
Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “Across the Borough we are very fortunate to have so many conservation areas that are rich with historical importance and are much loved and appreciated by the local community. This consultation gives our residents the opportunity to feed into the draft appraisals, which are important if we wish to maintain these places as conservation areas.
“We are really keen to hear local views on the 14 locations across the Borough so that we have a greater understanding of why these areas are so valued by residents. I hope that many people will participate in the consultation so that we gather as many views as possible, to help inform the appraisal process.”
To view the consultation, please visit https://yoursay.southend.gov.uk/conservation-area-appraisals-consultation
Please email [email protected] if you need any assistance in completing the survey or if you would like to receive an alternative version of the survey e.g. paper, or to provide feedback in another way.
To find out more about the Borough’s 14 conservation areas, please visit www.southend.gov.uk/conservation-areas
A health service which allows school children to anonymously text message a school nurse has received a national award for providing ‘an innovative solution to accessing mental health support, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic’.
ChatHealth was launched in Southend in September 2019 by the council’s School Nursing team following its success in other areas of the country. The service gives young people aged 11-19 an anonymous way to discuss their physical and emotional health concerns with registered professionals from the school nursing team.
At the 30th annual Nursing Times Awards ceremony, which was held virtually Wednesday 18 November, ChatHealth came out on top in the ‘Nursing in Mental Health’ category. Judges praised the fact that ChatHealth provided an innovative solution to accessing mental health support, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. They felt it had a great reach and liked the fact that it gave coverage to social issues as well as mental health support. They were particularly impressed by the robustness of the evaluation and the evidence supporting the initiative.
Cllr Anne Jones, cabinet member for children and learning, said: “This is fantastic news in what has been an incredibly challenging year for us all, particularly our young people, who faced months of uncertainty over exams. This initiative has helped our wonderful School Nursing team reach those children who, for whatever reason, were finding it difficult to cross the threshold into the school nurses’ drop-in sessions in schools.
“When many of us were at school, the nurse was there to deliver physical first aid and monitor general health, but it has changed over the years so that nurses support children and young people with emotional health related issues, especially stress and anxiety relating to the academic environment.”
The service was originally launched for children aged between 11-19, but throughout the duration of the Coronavirus pandemic, the council’s School Nursing team extended the offer to parents of children aged between five and 19, who may have concerns regarding their children’s mental health.
Cllr Jones continued, “ChatHealth has proven a vital service in many areas across the country, and I would like to praise our School Nursing team who took the decision to extend the offer to parents with concerns over their child. This provides a real sense of support for anyone concerned about their mental health and has been a vital resource throughout the pandemic.”
As part of the service, each young person is asked if they want to give their name so their health records can be updated, but they can also remain anonymous if they wish.
Young people aged 11-19 can send a message at any time to 07520 649895, and parents and carers can send a message at any time to 07507 331884, and a School Nurse will respond between 9.30am and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday, throughout the school year except bank holidays.
You can follow the School Nurses on Twitter with the handle @SouthendSN
For more information about ChatHealth, please visit www.chathealth.nhs.uk