Southend Central Area Action Plan (SCAAP) - Revised Proposed Submission 2016
Representation ID: 2496
Respondent: Mr Philip Donovan
Legally compliant? Yes
I disagree with further development in Southend because the parking facilities are already inadequate for the needs of the town.
Whilst visiting Southend to celebrate the 5th birthday of my daughter earlier in the year, I experienced first-hand the shocking level of inadequate parking facilities at the seafront.
We had booked her birthday party at Adventure Island. It was May and the weather was nice, but not scorching. I had given myself plenty of time in which to get there.
I was not, however, expecting to spend over an hour driving around trying to find somewhere to park! Neither did the majority of the parents whose children were also attending my daughter's birthday party.
Needless to say, we all arrived at Adventure Island later than expected. Everyone was late for my daughter's birthday party, as a direct consequence of not being able to park.
Having lived, and worked, in the area all my life, experiencing the difficulties of trying to park at Southend seafront is nothing new. I quote my daughter's birthday party because we actually had a timeframe in which to be at the venue.
I can appreciate the enormous difficulty this must present to local businesses; the lack of parking facilities must affect their trade, with potential customers possibly driving out of the area because they are unable to park. As a local business owner, employing over 500 staff, we rely on our customers being able to park when visiting our stores.
I think you should concentrate on making Southend seafront more accessible to visitors, because obviously without visitors, there is no trade. Everyone would benefit from this, including our own business - as potential visitors would pass four of our stores alone to get into Southend, i.e. Basildon, Grays, Hadleigh, our Rayleigh Home Store etc.
The only fortunate side of this is that, had the weather been really scorching, it probably would have taken me between 2-3 hours to get parked.
If it hadn't been for my daughter's birthday party, I would have abandoned the trip and gone to another area.
Is this really what Southend Council want from visitors to the area? I believe the parking concerns need to be addressed as a matter of urgency, as it is totally inadequate at the present time, and is sufficiently concerning to make one consider going elsewhere for that very reason.
Philip J. Donovan
Choice Discount Stores Limited