DEVELOPERS have revealed they aim to start work on a £50million seafront leisure complex early next year.

Turnstone Estates bosses spoke about “turbo charging” the Southend economy as they revealed these updated designs for the site of the Seaway Car Park, Lucy Road, Southend.

Chelmsford Weekly News:

New look - the refreshed Seaway plans

Chelmsford Weekly News:

Hope - how developers Turnstone say the development will look

The complex is set to include an 11 screen IMAX Empire Cinema, 20 lane Hollywood Bowl, 80-bed Travelodge Hotel, restaurants and a new public square, with 555 car parking spaces in a new multi-storey building.

The firm has had to re-submit plans following discussions with Southend Council and Historic England, the latter of which argued the designs could be better.

Tim Deacon, director of Turnstone, said the new plans do not contain major changes, but the designs and elevations of the buildings’ structure has been altered.

He said: “The new plans are mainly about the look and design of the complex. It was drawn from an objection from Historic England that there could be improvements. We worked with them and the planning team at the council to make the buildings less horizontal looking and more vertical. The colour has also changed where we’ve made the buildings lighter in tone.”

If approved, the developers will pay the council £282,000 per year for a long term lease, with the idea of generating an additional £15million to the economy every year and create up to 550 new jobs.

Mr Deacon hopes to have work begin on the site by June next year. The site has already been cleared after the agreement for the complex was made with the council in 2014.

He added: “We hope to have the plans before council members for a decision by the end of the year, and if that happens, have work start in the first or second quarter of next year.

"We’re excited to bring forward our vision to turbo charge the economy and deliver a leisure facility for everyone to enjoy that will help make sure the future is bright for Southend town centre.”

Philip Miller, chairman of The Stockvale Group that runs Adventure Island, said: "We are still dead against this scheme for two reasons first and foremost it will take away the seafront parking which in turn will gridlock the whole town.

"If this scheme succeeds in gaining planning permission this will trigger the sale of the site for one pound.

"If it is such a great deal for the town why do the council want to keep it secret not only from the owners ie the taxpayers but not even the councillors can know."


RESIDENTS have welcomed changes to the building design of the Seaway development.

Before the changes were submitted, people had criticised the design as being “ugly”.

On Facebook Roger Taylor said: “Call me old fashioned, but the modernist architecture in Southend just isn’t cutting it. Good architecture lifts an area.

Poor architecture pulls it ever lower. I’m glad some changes have been made to make it more fitting.”

Susan Bones added: “The last thing we need is more dark buildings that have no character.

“New developments are meant to give the area a facelift, not darken it.

Hopefully the Seaway if it goes ahead will provide the former with their latest effort, as it will be very significant for us.”

Road widening plans

LUCY Road is set to be widened to help ease traffic into a new leisure complex.

Turnstone Estates are proposing to widen the road from 7.3 metres to 8.8, provide a single coach drop-off bay, evening taxi rank parking bays and a new pedestrian crossing.

The firm also want to add a fourth arm to go into the new site from the Seaway roundabout, and also widen the existing entry points onto the roundabout from the A1160.

The plans will also mean the loss of ten on-street pay and display spaces on Lucy Road.