RESIDENTS have raised concerns about the proposed redevelopment of the Navyard wharf in Harwich.

Plans have been submitted by Navyard Limited to Tendring Council which include 373 houses and flats, a commercial area, public space and parking in a development off King’s Quay Street.

The proposed development also includes a new promenade walk linking Quayside with Angelgate, which would incorporate key landmarks of the historic town.

Public amenity space is also set to provide the opportunity for markets, festivals and passenger ship docking.

While members of the Harwich Town Residents’ Association welcomed moves to regenerate the area, concerns were also voiced about the impact of the proposals.

Residents who packed into the meeting feared the effects of the impact of the development on the surrounding area including on the lack of infrastructure, the scale of the redevelopment, the effect of the traffic generated and the potential for flooding.

Concerns were also expressed that as Harwich is a small town with a medieval layout, construction drilling could have a damaging effect on the historic houses in the area.

Residents argued the scope of the proposed redevelopment would double the number of inhabitants in Harwich, where, they said, there was already “insufficient employment and not enough doctors, dentists and schools”.

Nick May, chairman of Harwich Town Residents Association, said: “The redevelopment could be a golden opportunity for the town but, as residents, we do have a number of concerns regarding these proposals.”

Overall, however, it was accepted Mann Lines would be leaving the Navyard, which would offer them the opportunity to create more capacity, operate more efficiently and bring in new jobs to Harwich and Dovercourt.

The meeting agreed no-one wanted to see the yard left to become empty and derelict.

However, there was caution over the size of the development.

A spokesman for the association said: “There was a commitment Harwich needed to change and become an even more special place to live.

“But what was needed was quality over quantity and consideration of the environment.”

Navyard Limited says it wants to create a new mixed-use quarter for Old Harwich by “taking the grain and density of the existing place as inspiration for a new development”.