The site, which will require land remediation in the long-term, was cleared and made usable by the council’s cleansing contractor Veolia ahead of the October half-term.
Providing approximately 250 car parking spaces, the site was used on the last two Saturday nights (28 October and 4 November), and will be open again from 4pm-10pm for the final two free seafront firework events on 11 and 18 November. Parking is free from 6pm.
Cllr Tony Cox, Executive Councillor for Transport, Waste and Regulatory services, says: “We are pleased that we have been able to use this site to provide some initial temporary car parking recently and for the next two Saturdays. This will provide up to 250 extra spaces on these days which will help the many visitors coming to Southend-on-Sea for the free fireworks and Christmas light switch-on on 18 November.
“At the current time we are doing this under permitted development rights, which numbers the days we can use the site a car park, so we are also going through the appropriate planning processes that would allow us to tidy the site further and use it as a regular temporary car park from Easter 2018.
“In the medium to longer-term, more detailed work is required but the site clearly has the potential to offer strategic and regeneration benefits to the Council and the seafront area as a whole, particularly for future development opportunities and car parking.
“This prime seafront site has been a blot on the landscape for many years now, and we are pleased that we have done some work to initially improve the appearance of the site, and put the land to positive use.”