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  • Writer's pictureSouthend BID

Southend BID Backs Seaway Development

A survey conducted by Southend BID shows levy payers overwhelmingly in support of the scheme.

Plans by Turnstone Estates to redevelop the Seaway car park owned by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council into a leisure facility - complete with IMAX cinema, shops, cafes, restaurants and a hotel – have, almost inevitably, drawn Southend Business Improvement District (BID) and its members into the debate surrounding the scheme.

As Seaway sits within the Southend BID area, the organisation has regularly been asked whether or not it supports the plan to redevelop the car park.

Southend BID is resolutely apolitical but, following Turnstone Estates’ submission of the detailed planning application, its Board took the view that it should ask its levy payers for their thoughts and opinions about the project.

“This is a highly unusual step for the BID but we feel that we needed to canvass the views of our levy payers’ and then share their collective view on a project that will almost certainly have an impact on the BID area,” said Southend BID Manager, Alison Dewey.

Southend BID’s 346 members were subsequently asked: ‘Do you support the proposed Turnstone development of the Seaway car park: Yes, or no?’

The results are as follows:

183 businesses responded (53% of the total levy paying businesses)115 (63% of the total responses) are in support of the Seaway development as proposed57 (31% of the total responses) do not support the Seaway scheme

A supplementary question, ‘Would you support the development, but with no less than the current number of parking spaces?’ was also put forward with 11 levy payers (6% of the total respondents) saying they would.

In summary, Southend BID members voted in favour of redeveloping the Seaway car park into a new leisure facility for the town.

Asked if the survey’s 63% in favour was a clear mandate to back Turnstone’s proposal, Southend BID Chair, Dennis Baldry said: “Given the scale of the support, yes. This is a clear indication of the feeling of the levy payers. I believe the result shows that our levy payers support the view that this as a major investment in Southend and one that could create hundreds of jobs. With that in mind, I think they would like to see this matter resolved swiftly and the work finally get underway.”

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