Harwich Town Council

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Planning application submitted to revamp Starlings site

A planning application has been submitted to transform a derelict site in Dovercourt into a car park, public toilets and events space.

Tendring District Council (TDC) is looking to use the site of the former Starlings garage and Queens Head Hotel, which burnt down a number of years ago, to create a new public space in the town between Milton Road and Orwell Road.

A consultation was held earlier in the year to gather local residents’ views on the plans, with broad support for regeneration of the site and particular interest in the proposed events space.

Plans have now been submitted, with people able to comment on the application before the authority’s Planning Committee decides whether or not to approve the proposals.

Mary Newton, TDC Cabinet Member for Business and Economic Growth, said the planning application gave people another chance to have their say.

“These proposals have been carefully worked up, in line with our overall vision for Dovercourt and taking on board comments made at the consultation,” Cllr Newton said.

“I am pleased that the project has progressed to the planning stage and would encourage people to look at and comment on the plans so that Committee can take everything into consideration when determining the application.”

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.

The site’s importance is recognised in TDC’s Dovercourt Masterplan Revisited, with redevelopment of the space being one of the ‘Dovercourt Twenty’ projects contained in the Plan.

TDC purchased the Starlings site at the end of last year after complex negotiations and cleared the site – as well as appointed its principle design team to develop the detailed proposals and to manage the construction process through to completion.

New hoardings have recently been installed around the site to tidy up the area, and the fencing will soon have information boards installed detailing the plans for passers-by.

Subject to planning permission, work is expected to start on site at the end of the year.

Find out more about the Starlings proposals and comment on the planning application by visiting TDC’s Planning Portal at www.tendringdc.gov.uk/planning/planning-applications and using reference number 21/01145/FUL.