Southend Council development committee has deferred approval of the controversial redevelopment of Seaway Car Park over parking concerns, putting the £50m project in jeopardy.
The deferral came just two days before the end of a five year council contract with developer Turnstone Estates expired, with councillors refusing to grant permission due to existing parking data being out of date.
“We need to look at how the surveys were done,” said councillor Tony Cox. “The parking survey was done April 2015, we’re now in 2020.”
“I will bet my bottom dollar that how people come to seafront has changed and this survey was done on a rainy day. I think we should defer until at least new surveys are done.”
The proposal was already opposed by several seafront businesses, with the Seafront Traders Association criticising the reduction of available parking spaces from 661 to 555.
Commenting on the committee decision, former association chair Paul Thompson told the Echo “the Seaway development in its present guise is well and truly dead.”
“The deadline for this scheme is in two days time. The leader of the council has fully gone on record and said he would not under any circumstances extend this deadline.”
The council contract was last extended in February, to give Turnstone an opportunity to reconfigure plans, with deputy council leader Ron Woodley stating it would be “the last time.”
The latest committee decision saw eight councillors vote against the scheme, and six for, with the future of the cinema, bowling and hotel complex now very much in doubt.