Previously seen as drab and downmarket, Shoeburyness’s fortunes have changed with redevelopment of the former army garrison, a splendid, 180-acre coastal site with more than 50 listed Victorian buildings, cricket pitch, nature reserve and protected wetlands.
Developer Gladedale is building an estate of 465 homes - a mix of refurbished period properties, new-build cottages, town houses and striking contemporary-design waterside apartments.
Old artillery stores and the officers’ mess are earmarked for leisure use and business units; other commercial space will be converted into shops and convenience stores. There is also outline planning consent for a school.
Already, there is a price premium of up to 20 per cent for a home within the walls, according to local estate agent Dedman. One of the first properties to be snapped up was the former commandant’s house, which is now worth well over £1 million.
Gladedale is about halfway through the five-year project and new phases are released regularly. Prices start at £249,950; call 01702 290232.
With the train station only a two-minute walk from the development, more than 30 per cent of residents are London commuters.
The local town itself still has some way to go, but is improving. And this location has a bright future if Thames Gateway promises are fulfilled.