A NEW housing complex for 92 flats on land next to Roots Hall has been approved.

The development was considered as a “stand alone” application with hundreds more flats expected to be built once Southend United FC moves stadium.

The proposal from Weston Homes will see the former Prospects College site on Fairfax Drive in Westcliff demolished and replaced with three apartment blocks and a total of 92 flats.

The plan includes 40 one-bed flats, 48 two-bed and four three-bed flats with parking for 92 vehicles - one per flat.

It was initially proposed that 28 of the properties would be classed as “affordable homes” but the developer later reduced this to just nine, which will be available through the shared ownership scheme.

Tory councillor Chris Walker said: “I can see matchday when residents go out shopping and the whole car park is rammed with football supporters.

“Unless they have got bollards or a barrier they won’t be able to control anything.”

The concern was dismissed by a council officer who told members of the committee that parking management schemes can be “effective”.

The application was approved on the condition the developer makes a number of contributions to the area, including a contribution of £45,400 towards secondary education.

It is the first phase of a major redevelopment of the area which could eventually encompass the adjoining Roots Hall but can also work on its own.

A council planning officer said: “There is nothing that makes this development reliant on Roots Hall.”

A previous planning application for this development was approved in principle by the council in April 2018 but the decision was made after Weston Homes had lodged an appeal with the planning inspector against the council after a committee took too long to make a decision.

The application was updated raising the height of the blocks of flats, changing the type of flats and reducing the number of affordable homes.

The whole area has been earmarked for regeneration.