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Preferred bidder announced for Better Queensway scheme
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s cabinet are set to approve the selection of Swan Housing Association as its preferred bidder for the major transformation of the Queensway area in central Southend.
Councillors will discuss the recommendation next week (Tuesday 12th February) and approve the setting up of a joint venture LLP between the Council and Swan that would enable us to collectively deliver the Better Queensway scheme delivering on Southend’s key objectives for the project.
The Council started the procurement process back in March 2018 with a launch event at the end of the Pier. Several companies went through various stages of the detailed process, with Swan coming through the robust procurement process as preferred bidder.
The report details how their tender has met the requirements laid down by the council, including building more than 441 affordable homes on the site and how Swan will help us deliver not only the regeneration but also manage it for the long term.
Swan’s example scheme developed for the purposes of the procurement process, includes approximately 1,600 new homes, of which over 500 will be affordable. The example scheme also maintains four lanes of traffic on Queensway, new green spaces and improved walking and cycling permeability and space to play. It also incorporates a community fund, improvements to energy and sustainability, and the whole area being designed using secured-by-design principles.
If approved by Swan’s Board, the council’s cabinet and Full Council on 21 February, the next steps would be to work towards awarding the contract in the spring. Following the award of the contract, the joint venture would be formally created and a full masterplan prepared for the site. This will involve further consultation with residents, business and other key stakeholders, and submission for planning approval in 2020.
Councillor James Courtenay, cabinet member for growth, says: “Better Queensway is the biggest regeneration project we are undertaking in a generation and will seek to transform this vital area right in the centre of our town, delivering better housing, better living and a better place for both the current residents and those that will make central Southend their home in the future. This regeneration will help make this area a key entrance into our town centre and connect what will be a thriving new community with it and also help us to deliver a key part of our resident led ambition for 2050.
“We are delighted to recommend Swan Housing, an excellent organisation with great values, commitment to the community and vast knowledge and experience of the local area, as our preferred bidder.
“Alongside meeting all the key requirements for the project, they also offer far much more than that, including access to their other properties from across Essex and London.
“This is really just the beginning and there is much more work to be done. We are now collectively focused on the next stages, including contract award and then working with all range of stakeholders, including residents and businesses to prepare a masterplan for submission for planning approval.”
John Synnuck, CEO of Swan Housing Association commented: “We are delighted to have been selected by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council as “Preferred Bidder” for the regeneration of Queensway. We’ve been taking on complex regenerations just like this for the last 25 years and our award-winning schemes show that we can not only build high quality homes of all tenures but also fantastic public realm including green spaces; we can tackle complex road and infrastructure challenges; and put in the commercial space and facilities needed to create successful mixed-use regenerations.
“I’d like to say to all the residents and local stakeholders at Queensway, that we are looking forward to working with you to develop a masterplan for Queensway which will make it a great place to live and work and a place where everyone in Southend wants to go.
“Together with our joint venture partner, Southend-on Sea Borough Council, we will work with you to transform Queensway from an isolated, and aging estate into a thriving community right in the centre of Southend. We’re experts at supporting residents and local stakeholders through regenerations and we will be there every step of the way, with Southend and South Essex Homes, to support you.
We currently own and manage over 11,000 homes in Essex and East London and are committed to delivering an additional 10,000 homes by 2027 because we believe everyone should have somewhere to feel at home. “
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