Attractions industry news
16 Jul 2012
Council to discuss Southend Museum development plans
Image: AEW Architects designed the new museum
A £35m project that includes the construction of a new museum in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, is set to receive the green light when it goes before the local authority this week (18 July).
The scheme has been recommended for approval and is to be undertaken in two phases, with the first involving stabilising the cliffs at a site to the south of Clifftown Parade Gardens.
A second phase of work will include the construction of the museum, which is designed by AEW Architects and will span more than 20,000sq m (215,278sq ft) when complete.
The museum will include more than 10,000sq m (107,639sq ft) of floorspace for permanent collections from the Central Museum and Beecroft Gallery, as well as temporary exhibitions and storage space.
A restaurant, a café and a shop will also form part of the building, with museum functions to be situated over four floors. The project will also include reconfigured cliff gardens.
Plans had been due to go before Southend-on-Sea Borough Council's development control committee at an earlier date, but faced a last-minute challenge from a group of residents.
A council spokesperson said one of the main issues behind the challenge was in relation to an environmental impact assessment, which has now been completed.
Meanwhile, the council report said: "The proposed museum complex offers the opportunity to regenerate this area of the cliffs and seafront, importantly providing active uses for both the day and evening economies.
"The design is unique, addressing the complexities of the topography of this area and presenting the opportunity for innovative and exciting architecture in this important part of central Southend."