Views wanted on future of Essex resort

PLANS are being drawn up to safeguard a seaside town's unique character - and residents, businesses and local organisations are all being asked to have an input into the scheme.

Roddy Ashworth

PLANS are being drawn up to safeguard a seaside town's unique character - and residents, businesses and local organisations are all being asked to have an input into the scheme.

Tendring District Council (TDC) has commissioned proposals for Walton's Conservation Area, which protects buildings and road layouts while also controlling proposed changes within its borders.

And now they want to hear from people interested in the proposals and those who have views on the way forward.


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A management plan is being put together by specialist consultants, The Conservation Studio, and will go on show from 12pm on Monday.

The exhibition is being staged at Walton Library and the consultation period will last for a total of four weeks.

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The aim of the exercise is to come up with ways to enhance the town and find ways to make necessary changes without losing sight of Walton's unique qualities.

Among the ideas being put forward are improvements to the uses of parts of the town - including some of the existing spaces between buildings.

These would be dependent on cash being available to carry them out, as would projects for better shopfronts, signage, paving and tree planting.

Iris Johnson, TDC's cabinet member for planning, said: “It is important to have a vision for Walton that fully respects the resort's historic character and allows for new ideas without losing sight of established values.”

The town itself has a distinctive image and style which derives from its planned layout in the early to mid 19th century.

Commercial and residential buildings are built to a high density along the seafront and the town stretches inland along High Street, with connecting roads winding up the hillside to the railway station from the parish church.

Walton's pier is reputedly the second longest in the country and provides an important focal point for the resort.

The town's conservation area was first designated in 1982 to recognise its special character.

The Government recommends that conservation areas should be looked at on a regular basis, identifying the issues facing them and then producing proposals to tackle any problems.

TDC came up with a character appraisal in 2005 and a public workshop was staged in February this year to get an idea of local feeling on the threats and opportunities facing the town.

The management plan has been designed to build on those pieces of work and is available at both the library and Town Council offices. It is also on TDC's website at www.tendringdc.gov.uk.

Once all the comments and responses have been received, they will be used along with the draft plan to produce a final version to be adopted by both Tendring District Council and Frinton and Walton Town Council later this year.

All comments must be in by July 4.

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