19 October 2017
Southend Council has announced the appointment of new architects to draw up plans for the monolithic Southend Cliffs Museum.
(Previous artists' impression of how the proposed museum would look. ©AEW Architects)
After the last planning application was rejected after the uproar from local residents, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council has appointed a new firm, Hawkins\Brown Architects, to redesign the new 'Thames Estuary Experience' attraction in Southend-on-Sea.
Concerns were initially raised by locals around the instability of the cliff on which the council proposes to build the 'attraction.'
The site itself has faced years of landslides following deforestation and has only recently been made stable with the aid of a giant buttress wall.
The Local Campaign Group Saxon King In Priory Park (SKIPP) has long voiced opposition to the 'Cliffslip Museum' citing that proposed further deforestation, a proposed giant 200-space carpark to be recessed into the cliff itself, along with the already unstable cliff will result in any building of any size suffering serious structural damage due to geological movement and pressures.
SKIPP also suggests that the council's plans to host the remains of the Saxon King in the proposed museum is nonsensical, and not cost effective where the exhibits could have been on display in a smaller purpose-built venue built on brownfield land immediately adjacent to the burial site in Priory Park.
"For 14 years our town’s greatest historic asset, the burial treasures of King Saebert has remained buried under council stupidity and arrogance, hidden away from the public and the millions of visitors that could already be coming to see them." - SKIPP
The South East Essex Green Party's position on the potential for the Cliff museum has been clear since the outset; We have been, and always will be, strongly against any development of the Cliffs, especially something of this magnitude where no evidence can be provided to show that it will be cost-effective, culturally sensitive, ecologically and structurally sound, or will actually be a sought-after attraction as Southend Council claims.
It is our view that this continued pursuit of another of Southend Council's White Elephant Vanity projects is a total waste of civic funding and time.
We strongly reject these proposals.