A MYSTERY consortium of Southend businessmen is proposing a new industrial estate in Eastwood should a plan by supermarket giant Lidl fail.
Clive Lucas, of Rochford estate agents Nevbright 8, is acting on behalf of the consortium and revealed its plans to the Echo. They hope to transform the former Safestore site, in Progress Road, into the new industrial site.
Lidl wants to take over both the Safestore and Essex Timber sites, on the corner of Progress Road and Rayleigh Road. It has applied to change the use of the sites from industrial to retail, but if that fails, Mr Lucas’s clients will take over.
Mr Lucas said: “The application is for small industrial units in a range of sizes to meet local demand, which we believe is tremendous, despite the recession. It will include things like manufacturing, storage and other industrial units.
“It’s being funded by local businessmen, who don’t want to be disclosed at the moment, and the units may be offered to let or sale.”
A spokesman for Lidl said recently: “A planning application for this site is awaiting determination at Southend Council.
“Lidl UK has a legal position with the vendors of the site and we are looking forward to bringing additional choice to the area with our offering of high quality products at low prices.”
The company said earlier this year its surveys showed 96.7 per cent of the public backed its plan.