Southend Central Area Action Plan

Ended on the 9th August 2010
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4. Vision for Southend Central Area

4.1 Our ambition for Southend Central Area, including the Central Seafront, is for it to be a prosperous and thriving regional centre that is vibrant, safe and hospitable and rich in commerce, learning and culture. A place where people want to live, work and visit.

4.2 Our aim is to transform the image of Southend through sustainable economic growth, development and social provision, and for it to be independently recognised as a popular location for businesses, education, residents and visitors.

4.3 Our objectives are:

  1. To improve and transform the economic vitality, viability and diversity of Southend Town Centre by encouraging the establishment of a wider range of homes, businesses and shops whilst providing new opportunities for recreation and leisure.;
  2. To improve the buildings and public realm, including accessible green space, within the Central Area, to manage traffic and improve cycling and walking facilities so that Southend becomes a place that is more pleasant to experience and move around in.;
  3. To always have full regard to the unique assets of Southend Town Centre and in particular its spectacular coastal setting, rich social and built heritage, its excellent rail links to London, and its airport;
  4. To always have regard to the significant biodiversity assets and environmental quality of the Central Area, help meet obligations on carbon emissions and adopt an approach to climate change through measures that mitigate against, or adapt to change;
  5. To promote design excellence in all things and to ensure that this quality standard is also expressed within the actions of our delivery partners;
  6. To expand the presence of the University of Essex and the South Essex College and establish Southend as an important regional centre for learning;
  7. To encourage the establishment and expansion of all businesses in Southend Town Centre by identifying, promoting or by actively bringing forward suitable sites for development to meet modern user and investor requirements;
  8. To increase the number and diversity of people living within the town centre and adjoining residential areas by bringing into use empty or underused floorspace and by building more homes and making efforts to ensure that living in the Town Centre becomes appealing to more families with children.

Option Box 3

(12) Do you consider that these Objectives for the Area Action Plan reflect the challenges and opportunities in the Central Area having regard to national and local priorities for the Borough?

Evaluation Criteria

4.4 The following table sets out the evaluation criteria which have been defined to test how the three overarching spatial options described in the next section deliver the vision and objectives defined above. The options and policy approaches set out in this document will be subject to the required Sustainability Appraisal and Strategic Environmental Assessment and assessments under the Habitats Directives. However for the purpose of evaluating the spatial options at this stage the criteria are derived largely from the Regeneration Framework stage 1B report published by Renaissance Southend Limited. The criteria and objectives are based on eight main themes:

  1. Gateway criteria (basic overarching objectives which the option must fulfil);
  2. Retail;
  3. Employment and offices;
  4. Residential;
  5. Learning and culture;
  6. Leisure;
  7. Public realm and movement; and
  8. Delivery.
Criteria and objectives Criteria and objectives
Gateway Learning and Culture
A more attractive place to live and work in and to visit Develop quality food/drink/hospitality
Create clear spatial plan for the town centre Develop HE Campus
Promote good design Develop leisure
Promote sustainability Develop culture
Retail Exploit SSBC land ownership
Improve retail circuit Leisure
Assemble sites to improve plan form Develop the leisure offer
Respond to forecast demand in core markets Exploit SSBC land ownership
Upgrade shopping precincts Public Realm and Movement
Exploit SSBC land ownership Improve access/connectivity
Employment and Offices Develop railway stations as gateways
Respond to forecast demand in core markets Improve links to/from seafront
Promote small office based workspace Stabilise Cliffs
Exploit SSBC ownership Exploit SSBC land ownership
Residential Delivery
Respond to forecast demand in core markets Assemble sites to improve plan form
Increase town centre population and income  
Respond to forecast demand in core markets  

Option Box 4

(11) Do you agree that the Evaluation Criteria set out above are the right ones to test the overarching Spatial Options?

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