1: Our vision and strategy for the future

The new local plan must be prepared positively, in a way that is aspirational but deliverable, and provide a vision for the future of Southend and a framework for addressing housing needs and other economic, social and environmental priorities.

The Council has set out an ‘ambition’ and a number of supporting ‘themes’ and ‘outcomes’ that reflects the feedback from the ‘Southend 2050 – be part of the conversation’ engagement programme that started in spring 2018. Over 35,000 people were reached through the work, with 4,000 people actively taking part through a wide variety of events, surveys, workshops and forums across the Borough.

The Southend New Local Plan in setting out a planning framework for the next 20 years, will be a key driver and stepping stone in delivering towards the Southend 2050 shared ambition and sub-regional initiatives. It is important to ensure that we are clear in what we are trying to achieve and where we want to be. This will help shape objectives and provide a measure to monitor how successful the plan has been over the coming years.

Figure 8 below provides a summary of the key messages, relating to planning, that we have received as part of the engagement on Southend 2050 to date. We are keen to hear your views on them, to help us develop planning related objectives and aspirations for the local plan on how our land and open spaces are used in the future.

Figure 8: What people told us they want for Southend-on-Sea’s future

Summary key messages, relating to planning, from `Southend 2050 - be part of the conversation` engagement.

Pride and joy

  • Southend is distinct with a vibrant identity - we have the opportunities of a city but retain our local feel.
  • The seafront continues to be our pride and joy.
  • We are a ‘destination’ people want to visit, live and study here all year round and from far and wide.
  • Our parks and open spaces are well used, cherished and protected.
  • We visibly celebrate our heritage and culture.

Safe and well

  • We have creatively met housing need while enhancing the character of the area.
  • My home suits my needs and is in harmony with the area.
  • Sunshine and fresh air! A light, bright place with great quality of life.
  • Everyone feels safe at all times of the day.
  • Older people are involved and quality health care is available to all.

Active and involved

  • We are developing Southend together – Everyone who wants to can be involved to make this happen.
  • Everyone takes responsibility for protecting our environment.
  • Southenders get together regularly – there are plenty of good places to do so.
  • Young people feel invested in the future of Southend.
  • A sense of family and community, enjoying and supporting each other – a strong sense of settled communities.

Opportunity and prosperity

  • There are many options for a rewarding career locally.
  • My educational opportunities have given me the best start in life.
  • There is a good balance of quality retail, residential and social space in our attractive town centres.
  • Innovative & easily accessible start-up opportunities are helping new businesses to thrive and develop.
  • We are well known as a hub for innovative and creative industries and ventures.

Connected and smart

  • It’s easy for me to get around when I want, however I choose to travel with quick and easy links to London and beyond.
  • The airport is thriving but operates in harmony with the area.
  • Parking is convenient for residents and visitors.
  • We are leading the way on green and innovative travel.
  • Lots of opportunities to be in open space.

What does this issue cover?

  • Vision for the future
  • Strategy for development

What information or evidence do we need for this issue?

  • Southend 2050 Ambition, Themes and Outcomes  
  • Southend 2050 5 year road map and Engagement Overview
  • South East Essex Strategic Growth Locations Assessment
  • South Essex Strategic Growth Locations Study (to be completed)
  • South Essex Joint Strategic Plan (to be completed)

See our evidence papers for more information

Our vision - have your say

Please provide comment in support of your choice.

What would you like Southend to be like in the future?


 Is there anything missing from the key messages (Figure 8), and why should it be included?


 Do you disagree with any of the key messages (Figure 8), if so which ones and why?


 If you were to prioritise 5 of the key messages (Figure 8), what would these be?