Masterplan could regenerate Harwich
A MAJOR regeneration of the area around Harwich's historic waterfront could flow from the restructuring of a national maritime organisation.Key players in the town are hoping to help devise a masterplan for the former Trinity House Lighthouse Service buildings and buoy yard when the organisation vacates its premises in 18 months.
A MAJOR regeneration of the area around Harwich's historic waterfront could flow from the restructuring of a national maritime organisation.
Key players in the town are hoping to help devise a masterplan for the former Trinity House Lighthouse Service buildings and buoy yard when the organisation vacates its premises in 18 months.
The service plans to move into a new £8 million building, which will be constructed at the corner of George Street and The Quay.
Trinity House depots from across the country - including those at Great Yarmouth, East Cowes and penzance - will be shut down as the service centres its operations into the new headquarters at Harwich.
The organisation has joined with a group of stakeholders including Harwich Town Council, Harwich Haven Authority, the Haven Gateway Partnership, Essex County Council, Tendring District Council and Harwich MP Ivan Henderson, to decide what to do with its former waterside buildings.
Mick Page, Tendring's cabinet member with responsibility for regeneration, said: "It is all quite exciting. Trinity House have a lot of buildings along the waterfront, and we are now looking at the possibility of forming a masterplan for the quayside area."
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He added that funding was to be sought from organisations such as the East of England Development Agency to help drive the masterplan idea forward.
"The one thing we don't want is for buildings to be empty with no plans for future use.
"They could be vandalised and run down. I want to move forward so that in 18 months time there are proposals for the buildings which we can turn to the people of Harwich with.
"Once the masterplan is done, it needs to go to out for consultation with all those interested.
"It will be in keeping with the area and its history - it won't involve sky-high buildings, or anything like that."
It was announced yesterdaythat Posford Haskoning, an internationally respected development consultants firm, has already been brought in to complete some initial conceptual work, funded by Trinity House itself.
A Trinity House spokesman said the masterplan would aim to maximise Harwich's potential for tourism as well as cultural and commercial developments designed to attract new visitors to the town and create all-year-round employment.
Ideas included improvements to the station area, the creation of new pedestrian areas, better parking and sympathetic new buildings in keeping with the character of the old town.