AN EYESORE former hotel site once hoped to be transformed into a maritime centre could instead be turned into houses.

Plans have been put forward to build 14 two-bedroom homes on the former Anchor Hotel site in Stour Road, Harwich.

Tony Woods, who owns the land, said he had hoped the maritime centre would still be built despite his company, AJ Woods Engineering, going bust in 2013 after a problem with funds.

He said: “I won the opportunity to loan £2.3million off the Government.

“The funding wasn’t delivered. That was why I shut the company.

“It was going to be the support centre for the small boat harbour and for the windfarm industry.

“I was hoping at some point to resurrect the maritime centre but planning has lapsed and it’s no longer viable.

“I thought I may as well tidy the site and provide some affordable housing for the area.

“I spoke to local estate agents and asked what the biggest need in the area was.”

A report sent to Tendring Council with the planning application said: “Throughout the design process the applicant has listened to the voices within the town of Harwich and it has been widely muted that there is a shortage of quality family housing within the town itself.

“The applicant has acted upon this.”

The homes will be three storeys high, with the living areas above the garages due to a risk of flooding in the area.

The site was home to the Anchor Inn, built more than 140 years ago.

But tragedy struck at the pub in 1953, when a seven foot tidal surge flooded low-lying parts of the town - Bathside was badly affected.

The Anchor’s landlord Pearl Lofts drowned in the cellar - she was one of the eight people in the town who lost their lives in the flood.