A DILAPIDATED shop once used to sell second-hand furniture is to be torn down and replaced with a block of flats despite concerns of overdevelopment.

The former Les and Gary’s furniture store will now make way for a new three and five-storey development at 659-665 London Road, Westcliff, after being approved by Southend Council’s development control committee yesterday.

The block will include 20 flats.

Kevin Buck, Conservative councillor for Prittlewell ward, welcomed the development, which will be based near to the listed Westcliff Library.

He said: “Having been an acquaintance of the previous owners who used to run the emporium, this is a significant improvement on what’s been there for the last 40 years.

“I think it looks good.

“It looks fine and generally I don’t think many of the local residents would have an issue with it so I support it.”


Other councillors disagreed and raised fears it would lead to further large buildings being built in the area.

Paul Collins, Lib Dem councillor for Eastwood Park ward said: “The library is designed in quite a different way and I don’t think it is complimentary in anyway.

“I’m concerned about the size of this. If this is allowed what other larger buildings will appear?

“It’s too large for a street corner.”

Aston Line, Labour councillor for Westborough ward, agreed.

He added: “Westborough is one of the densest populations in the whole of the United Kingdom so I too am concerned about overdevelopment.

“My major concern is in terms of the substantial height of the building. I’m not convinced it wouldn’t be imposing.

Read more >> Nazereth House in Southend to be replaced with retirement homes

“This building directly overlooks Westcliff Library which is a listed building and it looks quite menacing to me.

“Chalkwell Lodge was being used as an example of a nearby tall site but that doesn’t impose over historic buildings in the same way as this.”

Proposals are for five one-bedroom, six two-bedroom and nine three-bedroom flats with a ground floor commercial space.

Each flat will have at least one private balcony or terrace.

The upper storey will be set back from the front of the building.

Related Posts