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Canvey's regeneration shop may be kept open
12:00pm Friday 31st August 2012 in News
A SHOP set up by a council to get feedback from residents about regeneration plans could stay open for another two years despite the plans already being approved.
Critics of Canvey ’s regeneration shop say the notion of keeping it open longer is a waste of time and money.
The shop, in the Knightswick Shopping Centre, in Furtherwick Road was opened in 2009 revealing details of the £100million masterplan and asking residents to have their say.
After two years of public consultations, council meetings and discussions with traders, the ambitious plans were finally adopted by Castle Point Council’s ruling Tory cabinet in April.
However, the council’s planning department wants the shop to continue to be used in connection with the regeneration for another two years.
Dave Blackwell, leader of the Canvey Independent Party, said: “Everybody complains about it because it is a total waste of time keeping it open. No one goes in there anymore and it is very frustrating that we are continuing to spend public money on this.
“Everyone is waiting for news now the masterplan’s been passed, but all the meetings are happening behind closed doors, so there’s no point going in there because even the staff don’t know what’s going on.”
The Echo reported in February, Castle Point Council had set aside £60,000 to keep open both the Canvey shop and the one in High Road, Hadleigh . The masterplan includes proposals to revive run-down shops, create tree-lined public pathways, add better links between the town centre and Canvey Lake, youth facilities and introduce two-way traffic and on-street parking in the town centre.
Council officers are in negotiations with investors to realise the plans.
A council spokesman said: “This is just a technical application to renew the permission to use the regeneration shop on Canvey. No decision has been made as to the future use of the regeneration shops beyond this financial year.”
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