Walton: New supermarket and housing development unveiled to the public

THE family behind a bid to build a supermarket and housing development on a former boating lake have said their plans will “breathe new life” into an Essex coastal town.

Proposals which include a major retailer, a petrol station, a care home, a health centre and more than 100 houses on a site in Walton-on-the-Naze will be unveiled today.

The ambitious project would see about 15 acres of land reclaimed from a silted-up lake, known as Walton Mere, and developed into a shopping and residential area with a quayside.

Helen Titchmarsh, of the Titchmarsh family which owns the site, said: “There is a proven requirement for a supermarket in Walton and we have been in extensive discussions with four of the big five retailers.”

The project’s supermarket partner has not yet been announced, but it is likely to be Sainsbury’s, Asda or Morrisions.

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The family has confirmed that they have not had discussions with Tesco – who have submitted a rival bid on a nearby site off Kirby Road – and Waitrose were not interested in coming to Walton.

Helen Titchmarsh is the daughter of John Titchmarsh, a founding member of the successful Titchmarsh Marina in Coles Lane.

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Silverbrook Estates Ltd, which is part of the Titchmarsh family’s group of companies, purchased the Mere, which was last used as a boating lake in 1976, in 2009 for an undisclosed sum.

“My family has been associated with the town of Walton-on-the-Naze for four generations, spanning 103 years, and Titchmarsh Marina is one of the largest employers in the town,” she said.

“We are keen to see Walton Mere restored because we believe it can once again contribute to the life and vitality of the town.

“The Mere sits on the edge of the town centre and we are developing proposals that will make the town more attractive as a shopping area, with new high quality housing, community facilities and a restored water area.

“The costs of restoring the Mere and preparing the site for redevelopment are extensive but we are confident that, with the right mix of uses, we can deliver a project that will make a real difference to the town.”

In total the development site, which is located behind the High Street, will cover an area of about 30 acres, with the supermarket and 335-space car park occupying about six acres. The plans also include a 60-bed care home and 126 properties ranging from sheltered accommodation to terraced town houses and waterfront homes.

“The town suffers from a seasonal economy and we hope that our plans can regenerate this area by creating in excess of 300 year-round jobs,” said Mrs Titchmarsh.

The proposals will be unveiled to the public at a meeting at 7pm this evening (April 18) in the Columbine Centre in Princes Esplanade.

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