TOWN councillors have rejoiced over a £1.5million pledge which will revitalise Dovercourt’s town centre.

Plans published outline the development of a new car park, event space and public toilets on a derelict site, which formerly housed the Starlings garage and Queens Head Hotel.

The site, off High Street, has been an eyesore for many years after a fire.

Tendring Council purchased the area after complex negotiations last year and cleared it.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: The site has been an eyesore since a fireThe site has been an eyesore since a fire

It then appointed Richard Jackson Ltd to develop detailed proposals for the site and to manage the construction process.

Harwich town councillors Ivan Henderson and Garry Calver have now called on Tendring Council to take advantage of the fantastic opportunity the space will provide.

At a town council meeting on Tuesday evening, they suggested the space should be used to host all kinds of events in a bid to bring welcome footfall into the town.

Food markets, craft stalls and, later in the year, a Christmas market are some of the ideas put forward.

Resident’s calls for adequate lighting there for extra security and safety, as well as CCTV, have also been put to Tendring Council.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: Plans seek to make the site a hub of activityPlans seek to make the site a hub of activity

It is hoped the site will provide a vibrant space which can be adapted to meet the mood of the town.

Calls for the lamps in the car park to have provision to hang decorative lights and hanging baskets for Harwich in Bloom have been made, while extra electricity for the centre of the square has been requested so a Christmas tree could be placed there during the festive season.

Mr Henderson said: “This offers a really good opportunity to bring people together and to draw in extra footfall which is desperately needed for retailers.

“The site is a great link for Dovercourt, you can access the trail to Historic Harwich and the seafront is a short walk away.

“It’s dragged the town down for too long and I think this will now provide a feel good factor.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: Work started on clearing the site in December 2020Work started on clearing the site in December 2020

“We want to make sure there’s as many events as possible in the square for residents to enjoy. The town council will be looking at how they can promote the space and encourage different types of events.”

Tendring Council is also considering turning the car park in Milton Road into housing, something Mr Henderson believes could cause an issue.

He added: “We’re requesting the council hold back on this. The more use the square gets, the higher the demand there will be for an overspill car park.

“What we’re asking them to do is not build anything on the area at the moment. Instead, take the top layer off and leave just the ground floor available for extra car parking space for all to use.”