England: Southend United unveils new stadium details
source: StadiumDB.com; author: Mateusz Osmola
Plans to build a new stadium for National League side Southend United go back to 2017. The vision for the venue has since undergone a number of changes and now the club has officially submitted revised plans for its ambitious new stadium.
New venue for United finally is going to happen?
The Essex club, Southend United, first thought of moving to Fossetts Farm Stadium, north of the town centre, back in 2006. 2 years later, the design was prepared and the concept had planning permission, but it did not go ahead. In 2017, the design concept was updated, changing some of the main features. The new idea was to build two residential units and a hotel entirely on the north stand. The capacity of the stadium was to be set at 21,000 spectators.
Under the 2022 update, the stadium was to hold slightly fewer fans than originally planned 17,000, with an increase in commercial areas and secure standing areas in the stands. Recently there has been another change of plans. According to the documents submitted to Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, the arena's seating capacity will be further reduced to 16,226, the hotel element has been eliminated altogether.
The new Fossetts Farm application includes the demolition of United's existing training centre to be replaced by a new stadium with business boxes, offices, ballroom, club offices, shop, catering facilities and concessions. The plans also detail the residential part of the north stand comprising 224 flats, residential units in the spectator plaza comprising 72 flats, with sports and community uses on the ground floor, and 93 residential units on Fossetts Way. Included as well is the provision of two "football domes", one for community use. Locals sports fans can also place their bets on bookmakers without restrictions at nongamstopbetsites.com.
Farewell to Roots Hall?
The club's latest planning application is identical to the one we submitted last year as part of the 'Drop In' application. Following an unrelated High Court decision on 'Drop In' planning applications, in consultation with the council we jointly concluded that the simpler route would be to submit a new application. Everything about the application, the stadium and residential, remains exactly as it was previously submitted - said United chairman, Ron Martin, to the Echo.
Reacting to the latest news, Martin Terry, independent councillor with responsibility for public protection, said:
The council's number one priority is to keep a league football club in our city, so hopefully we can push this through and get it up and running. However, fans, including myself, should be reassured that through any planning permission that is granted, Roots Hall will be protected and that there will be no activity on the site until there is a new football ground in Fossetts.
The club had played at their current home Roots Hall since 1955, but its location among residential buildings meant redevelopment was not an option. In June last year, the United stated its aim to start the 2024-25 season with the first phase of a new stadium at Fossetts comprising, initially, the south, east and west stands, which will include a range of corporate and entertainment spaces.