REVAMPED plans for jobs and homes across Southend over the next 20 years have been unveiled.

Southend’s new local plan includes the possibility of building thousands of homes on green belt land, the council has confirmed.

The council is about to undertake a consultation on the plan, which outlines possible new neighbourhoods to the north of the borough, the some created with the co-operation of Rochford District Council.

The Government has stipulated the Southend Council must find room for 23,620 new homes over the next 20 years.

If a new neighbourhood were to be built on the edge of the urban area but within Southend, an additional 7,204 homes could be provided, including up to 5,345 homes on green belt land and 2,000 new homes on Fossetts Farm. With other developments across the borough his would result in a maximum supply of between 19,356 - 20,081 new homes.

The developments are expected to create new jobs, a new link road, a country park and supporting new infrastructure.

Along with new homes, the borough will need to plan for about 11,000 new jobs over a 20-year period. The plan sets out options for safeguarding economic growth areas including the town centre, Southend Airport, and the northern Southend corridor centred around Progress Road and Stock Road/Temple Farm.

Ian Gilbert, leader of the council, said: “The new Local Plan will provide a degree of certainty for communities, businesses and investors on future development proposals, and a framework for guiding decisions on individual planning applications and how as a place we can meet the challenging housing targets set by central Government and deliver the infrastructure that we will need alongside it.

“Having an up-to-date Local Plan that is shaped through community engagement, provides an important tool to help manage future development proposals that would otherwise come forward without local policies guiding the type, scale and location of new development.”

Carole Mulroney, councillor responsible for environment and planning, said: "It is important to be clear that this is the second out of five stages in the process of developing a new Local Plan and this next stage is about looking at the results of the consultation undertaken in early 2019 and the call for sites, and undertaking further public consultation.

“We are not yet setting policy or making decisions, but we are duty bound to consider all options and include all possibilities at this stage, and we are also obligated by the Government to provide 1,200 homes a year up to 2040 and we cannot achieve this without an innovative new Local Plan.”

“By planning so far into the future, the new Local Plan gives greater certainty about where development will take place over the next 20 years and how we meet our national targets. It will enable the council to better manage new development in a way that creates more sustainable communities, provides homes for all parts of the community and takes advantage of opportunities emerging from the anticipated economic growth.

The Refining the Plans Options document will be discussed and considered at Cabinet on 15 June 15. Documents can be viewed here.