THE green light has been given to improve a vacant building which is to be used as a community centre.

Community Voluntary Services have already been granted permission for the change of use for the former second hand furniture store in High Street, Harwich.

The premises will also be a one stop shop for training, counselling, information, group sessions, volunteering opportunities and pathways into employment.

It is aimed to create a facility that will enhance the co-ordination of voluntary organisations in the area.

Now plans for a new shop front, ramped access and replacement roofing, lights and windows have been approved by Tendring Council.

Harwich Town Council had no objection but there was one letter of opposition from a resident.

A spokesman for Tendring Council said: “This unit has been empty for a long period and it has a detrimental impact both visually and economically.

“The proposed shop front is an attractive modern design and along with the other alterations will improve the overall appearance of the building.

“Disabled access will be created and the lighting will help provide security and safe access for those using the site.”