Councillors to discuss multi-million-pound regneration plans for Canvey seafront and high street

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CASTLE Point councillors will discuss proposals tonight to reinvigorate the town centre and seafront.

The council’s cabinet will decide whether to create a working group to help steer planned regenerations of both areas.

Plans to be debated include £1.5million of public realm improvement works in the town centre and the creation of a new £1.52million seaside ‘visitor attraction’.

But council papers said the council needed to come up with a new strategy for both areas.

A report said the authority had secured a £1.52million grant to provide a new visitor attraction, but was struggling to attract new investment in the seafront due to the lack of a ‘long term vision’.

It said: “Without a clear plan for investment in Canvey Seafront, securing new investment will continue to be difficult. A plan will enable the council to better market the vision, provide a focus to attract the right mix of uses, and support funding applications for grant funding.”

The council wants to create a new masterplan for the seafront. It also wants to adopt a new masterplan for the town centre.

The report said an old town centre masterplan, drawn up in 2012, might have to be reconsidered, as it ‘had a strong retail focus’.

Since then, numerous shopping chains have experienced downturns and either closed entirely or axed lots of stores, as the internet continues to make life difficult for high street retailers.

The report said: “Consideration must be given to whether the town centre catchment area can support additional retailing and whether alternative options should be assessed.”

Council officers have suggested the creation of a working group to helm both masterplans, comprising of six Conservative councillors and six Canvey Island Independents. The meetings would be chaired by council leader Norman Smith.

Officers have also proposed inviting members of Canvey Town Council to participate in the meetings.

A decision will be made on whether to create the working group at tonight’s cabinet meeting, which will be held in the council chamber at 7pm.

Charles Thomson

Chief ReporterEmail: [email protected]

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