A SENIOR councillor has reiterated his assurance that a High Street will remain protected and not turn into accommodation.

Owners of local businesses raised concerns after a misunderstanding of Tendring Council’s local plan led to confusion.

The council’s member for planning Carlo Guglielmi, who also sits on Manningtree Town Council said: “I am well aware some residents, businesses and town councillors in Manningtree are worried there could be a permanent loss of shops and may have misunderstood the policies but this is simply not the case,” he said.

“Although a small part of the town centre has been removed from the primary shopping frontage, it still falls within the wider town centre designation.

“In this designated area the policies in the local plan do not allow the loss of ground floor commercial premises for residential use.

“Within the slightly reduced primary shopping frontage, the policies have actually been made stricter and protect the majority of shops for retail use.

“They only allows up to 30 per cent of shops to be used for financial and professional services like restaurants and cafes.”