Southend Council has been demanding action for a number of years and in November 2014 agreed to prepare the case for using compulsory purchase powers as a last resort if development of the site was not forthcoming. Following this, the owner marketed the properties on the basis of the existing planning permission which has now led to the sale.
To allow the sale to go ahead, the council has confirmed to the new buyer that it has taken away the threat of compulsory purchase provided that works start on site within six months of the sale.
Cllr Ron Woodley, leader of the council, said: “The joint administration made a clear promise to local people to tackle the blight of Victoria Avenue and these two eyesore buildings. We have been putting considerable pressure on the owners to either make progress on a scheme or face a potential compulsory purchase order and this approach has proven successful.
“A CPO was always a last resort as they are lengthy, time consuming and costly. I am therefore delighted that we do not now have to intervene and that a local development company will take forward plans to regenerate what is a gateway to the town, without the need for direct council intervention or public money.
“This is very good news indeed and we are confident that the new buyer, which is well known to the local area, will bring forward a redevelopment based on the existing planning permission that will provide much needed new housing and regenerate a derelict site.”
A further update on the developer and their plans for the site will be provided in the coming weeks.