A major new carpark will be among several improvements made to the Canvey seafront under a regeneration plan that could get underway in 12 months.

Members of Castle Point Council’s cabinet met on Tuesday night to discuss a plan for transforming the seafront into a modern holiday destination.

An earlier version of the plan proposed moving a carpark to the north of Labworth Green but this was amended after seafront traders disagreed. Instead, the council said they would create a new car park by merging the one in Labworth Green with another close to the Welcome Hut on the Eastern Esplanade.

Council leader Norman Smith said the change would benefit traders because it would “improve connectivity between the seafront and the shopping areas”.

The cost of creating the new car park is expected to be funded by increased parking revenue and Mr Smith said that this does not mean increasing the charge, only that they expect to see a greater number of visitors using the site.

He went on to say that he has been holding meeting with traders and is “very, very keen” to support them and get results that work for them and for the island.

Councillor Godfrey Isaacs, who attended the meeting with Mr Smith, said: “The meeting with traders was very productive and the feeling I got is that they are very supportive of this plan. They want to see something done because they can’t improve their businesses when we haven’t made decisions.”

Other planned improvements will include investing in new attractions that will encourage visitors throughout the year and modernising facilities on Thorney Bay including building new public toilets, a retail kiosk and making improvements to the sea wall. Work is also underway to find a suitable location for coach parking and drop-offs.

Councillor Barry Palmer, of the Canvey Island Independent Party, criticised the cabinet for including new public toilets as part of the regeneration plan. He said: “These plans are scheduled to start in 2019 if we get the money, well we have a big problem and that is no one in Thornley bay has anywhere to go to the toilet. Surely we can come up with a plan to get a toilet block in there as soon as possible, otherwise it could be up to two year with no toilets.”

The council hopes work will begin in October 2019 but this will depend on whether they are successful in a bid for government funding under the Coastal Communities Fund.

Last month they lost out on their first bid because the government wanted projects that could get underway immediately and generate a large number of jobs.