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Southend Council

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In brief

Southend is one of the UK’s newest cities and is located on the north shores of the Thames Estuary.

Originally the “south end” of the village of Prittlewell, Southend was home to a few poor fishermens’ huts and farms at the southern extremity of Prittlewell Priory land. In the 1790s, landowner Daniel Scratton sold off land on either side of what was to become the High Street. The Grand Hotel (now Royal Hotel) and Grove Terrace (now Royal Terrace) were completed by 1794, and stagecoaches from London made it accessible.


Southend is the seventh most densely populated area in the United Kingdom outside of the London Boroughs, with 38.8 people per hectare compared to a national average of 3.77. By 2006, the majority, or 52% of the Southend population were between the ages of 16–54, 18% were below age 15, 18% were above age 65 and the middle age populace between 55 and 64 accounted for the remaining 12%.

The urban area of Southend spills outside of the borough boundaries into the neighbouring Castle Point and Rochford districts, including the towns of Hadleigh, Benfleet, Rayleigh and Rochford, as well as the villages of Hockley and Hullbridge. According to the 2011 census, it had a population of 295,310, making it the largest urban area solely within the East of England.

What to expect

Southend was the worst performing authority on housing delivery within the 2021 Housing Delivery Test.

Customer service at Southend is highly inconsistent with officers only contacting us where they need an extension of time or an amendment to the application albeit the latter is rare.

Decision making behaviour is heavily influenced by the political class within the City Council with applicants having to resort to appeal or resubmission for most application types.

Pre-application is actively not offered with the Council preferring to allow re-submissions following the first refusal. Applicants are advised to adopt a cycling strategy or build sufficient time for appeal into their development deals.

Last Decision’s

  • 172-174 London Road, Southend – Conversion and extension of two shops to form 5 dwellings

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