Southend United Fossetts Farm plans dead end


Southend United to stay at Roots Hall Image: Populous & Southend Planning Portal

Details of the deal to rescue the National League team Southend United F.C. have yet to be rubber-stamped but it spells the end of a new stadium at Fossetts Farm in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England (UK).

‘Echo’ stated that it is believed that the agreement between a consortium led by the Australian businessman Justin Rees, the club and the Southend Council will see the club remaining at their residence – the Roots Hall in Southend-on-Sea, England (UK).

The Southend United Football Club is a professional association football club based in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England (UK), which competes in the National League, the fifth level of English football.

The Fossetts Farm Stadium was a proposed football stadium in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England (UK) for the Southend United, replacing the Roots Hall Stadium. Initial proposals for the new stadium emerged in 1998, planning permission was applied for and later confirmed by the Southend Council in 2008 but at that time the scheme depended entirely on financing from a proposed adjacent retail and leisure development, which failed to happen.

The Roots Hall is a football stadium located in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England (UK). The stadium is the home ground of the Vanarama National League team Southend United F.C. With a capacity of 12,392, the Roots Hall is the largest football stadium in Essex.

Birmingham (UK)-based the Vanarama National League is an English association football league. It’s the fifth-highest tier of the English football league system and the highest level of the National League System. The league is made up of three divisions: The National League, the National League North and the National League South.

‘Echo’ further stated that it is also thought that the 500 homes due to be built on the Roots Hall site will now be transferred to Fossetts Farm where the club Chairman Ron Martin once hoped to build a 21,000-seater for the club.

The idea of building a new stadium for the Southend United was first drawn in 2006. The plans were approved in October 2021, but never came to fruition.

The stadium was designed to have a 22,000-capacity, a 107-bed hotel and high-rise residential blocks of 182 homes on two corners. It also included a fan plaza with cafes and bars. The stadium was designed to be the catalyst for the creation of a new neighborhood in Southend-on-Sea.

The stadium was planned to be part of the Fossetts Farm development, which included 1,491 new homes. 30 percent of the 1,461 homes proposed on the wider Fossetts Farm site were allocated to be affordable.

The homes were once intended to finance the ambitious stadium plans.

The stadium was later downsized to a 16,226-seater and plans for a hotel was dropped but the scheme would have eventually seen the creation of hundreds of new homes.

With the Fossetts Farm stadium unlikely now to be going ahead, the number of much-needed homes for the City could be set to increase.

The crumbling stadium will need a major overhaul or a rebuild if it is to survive and take the club forward. In recent months, the Council has had to step in to advice the club how to maintain safety standards to ensure it could continue to hold matches there.

Part of the deal is expected to include arrangements to bring the stadium up to scratch.

The Southend Council was engaged in and supportive for both the Roots Hall and Fossetts Farm plans but wasn’t involved financially and its latest involvement remains the same, with any plans having to go through the Cabinet and the Council’s planning system.

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