Harwich Town Council

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Have your say on plans for former Starlings building

Design proposals for the development of a new car park, event space and public toilets on a prominent site in Dovercourt have been published.

The public is invited to have its say on the plans for the former Starlings garage and Queens Head Hotel site in the town, off of the High Street.

Derelict for many years after a fire, the site’s importance was recognised in 2019 by Tendring District Council’s (TDC) Dovercourt Masterplan Revisited, with the site’s redevelopment being one of the ‘Dovercourt Twenty’ projects contained in the delivery plan.

At the end of last year TDC purchased the site after complex negotiations, and cleared the site – as well as appointed its principle design team, Richard Jackson Ltd, to develop detailed proposals for the site and to manage the construction process through to completion.

A public consultation is now being led by TDC’s design team, with local residents, businesses and those who use Dovercourt town centre invited to have their say.

Mary Newton, TDC Cabinet Member for Business and Economic Growth, encouraged people to view the plans and give their opinions.

“For many years the Starlings site has been a blight on Dovercourt, and as we pledged with Dovercourt Rediscovered we are taking up the work required to bring this important piece of land up to scratch,” Cllr Newton said.

“The proposals are exciting and in line with what was recommended in the masterplan, but we are really keen to get your views so these can be fed into the design process.

“This project is being taken forward to improve the public realm, recognising the site’s importance to the town centre, and not for the council’s financial benefit.”

The proposals include a 51-space car park, public toilets, and hard and soft landscaping. The proposed design will enable the council to also use the site as an event space, providing capacity in the town centre for one-off events such as a Christmas market or travelling fair.

The car park will replace the adjacent Milton Road car park, with separate work being carried out to establish the best use for that site.

To view the plans and take part in the consultation visit https://yoursay.online/dovercourt. Alternatively if you are unable to access the website or require printed materials please email kbrown@conciliocomms.com or call the Freephone number 0800 774 7638.

A webinar is also being held on Monday, 15 March at 6pm as part of the consultation, where people can meet the project team and ask questions. To sign up, visit the project website.

The consultation formally begins on Monday, 8 March and will run until 9am on Monday, 22 March 2021. A planning application is expected shortly afterwards once the consultation feedback has been considered.