If the latest time table comes to fruition, Southend United supporters will see their long-desired new stadium ready after 18 long years since its first announcement.
As many enthusiasts of English football surely know, the new Southend United stadium at Fossetts Farm has a long history despite no work having started. It was first announced in 2006, the location lies just some 1.5 km (1 mile) from the historical Roots Hall stadium.
Since 2006 the club had already filed 13 planning applications, with the latest one being scrapped earlier this year. The 14th application is yet to be filed but this time it seems bound to succeed. Back in April a crucial agreement has been reached between the city, football club and Citizen Housing.
The project will change by losing much of its planned retail uses and gaining more flats (app. 1,300 houses are now expected, including on the Roots Hall site). With this shift a preferential loan has been secured from Homes England, a governmental body, ensuring the plan's viability.
Deputy leader Councillor Ron Woodley has recently said a new time frame has been established, even if only an estimate at this point. New planning documents outline the timetable for development, starting with work on the stadium during summer 2021 if planning permission has been granted.
The stadium is expected to be completed in less than three years, with the completion date scheduled for spring 2024. Delivery of the residential component (part of which will include blocks incorporated into the stadium) is expected to take longer, until 2027, making sure Southen United can safely relocate from Roots Hall before it gets torn down.