A large, luxury development planned for Southend-on-Sea seafront has been halted due to a pensioner who is yet to leave her home.
Despite the neighbouring properties of Florence Tall’s Victorian property becoming vacant and derelict due to a serious fire, the pensioner refuses to budge – delaying the multi-million pound development that was due to commence in Autumn of this year.
Inner London Group, the developer who owns the surrounding land is unable to demolish the run-down buildings until they are successful at buying out Mrs Tall.
Until then the development, which is set to include almost 3,000 square metres of commercial space, with restaurants and bars as well as 282 homes, has been stalled.
Mrs Tall says:
“I haven’t made a decision yet. The offer is at £350,000 now and it started at £190,000…I don’t want to move far, I don’t want to move away from the seafront.”
Larry Fentiman of the Inner London Group explains:
“We would like to knock the buildings down but it would leave Mrs Tall’s home structurally vulnerable … Unfortunately it seems like we might have an arsonist but as much as nobody likes this, it does happen when you are in a transitional period between taking out the old buildings on a site and building the new ones.
“As a landowner we are taking measures to secure the building as soon as we can.
“We have been showing Mrs Tall properties and I have instructed Hair and Son to look every day for suitable properties for her.”
The pensioner was heartbroken when she initially found out about the plans for the “giant development” 11 years ago, having spent a lot of her money making the property her own.
However, it now only seems a matter of time until Mrs Tall finally moves from the home she has lived in since 1950, after she explained that the recent problems with squatters in the adjoining empty homes had taken their toll.
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