A spokesperson for Southend Borough Council has confirmed today that the town of Southend On Sea will be closed permanently in May 2020, just before the Summer tourism season gets underway.

According to documents that have been released, the entire borough between Leigh On Sea and Shoeburyness will undergo a ‘managed decline and evacuation’ in the months leading up to the closure, and this will be followed by a series of controlled explosions that will allow The Thames to reclaim the whole area and leave a small strip available for use as a bird sanctuary and conservation project.

Southend’s Portfolio Holder for Tourism and Swanky Bistros Jeremiah Fuqal said, ‘The final details of the plan were agreed upon in 2011, and the events of the last seven years in the town have laid the foundations for an upcoming accelerated programme of closure.’

‘There are also concerns about the entire stretch of seafront road from Chalkwell to Thorpe Bay due to the recent discovery of the Boyraceus Fault between the Kentish and Essexian tectonic plates.’

‘A recent motorcycle event had to be cancelled because it was feared that the vibrations would trigger an earthquake.’

Although the plans have been agreed in principle, a late development could see the scheme abandoned in favour of an alternative solution.

During a recent town planning meeting, a councillor reportedly asked if it would be possible to convert all non-residential buildings in the town into something more useful.

Our source said, ‘One councillor suggested turning every non-residential building into flats, and there were gasps of horror all around the room, including one official asking if he had ‘lost his pissing mind.’

‘However, a brief PowerPoint followed demonstrating how an average-sized corner shop can be adapted and retro-fitted to create a 300-apartment luxury living complex with a gym and parking for ten vehicles, and all of a sudden everyone in the room just started chanting the word ‘flats’ over and over again like they were in some sort of Pagan chanting ceremony.’

‘At this point, the room went dark and and a family of day trippers were led into the chamber to be sacrificed by candlelight in honour of Bovisia, the goddess of new builds.’

Neighbouring Rochford District Council were approached for comment, and in a brief statement they said, ‘We are considering doing the same thing here, but with more temporary traffic lights, obviously.’

This is a developing story, and as soon as a po-faced councillor is photographed with a wide-angle lens in front of something vaguely recognisable we will bring you the latest updates.