ROCHFORD'S historic Market Square could be pedestrianised under revamp proposals being considered for the town centre.

As well as cutting traffic in Rochford, district councillors also want to see better quality shops in central Hockley, as part of masterplans to make both towns more attractive and improve their infrastructures.

But they want to hear from residents before drawing up initial plans.

Council leader Terry Cutmore said: "In Rochford, many people would like to see a central area free from traffic and we are looking to pedestrianise Market Square.

"The town centre does need some attention as far as traffic is concerned.

"We want to improve tourism in the area and make Rochford a place for people to visit.

"Many visitors to the RSPB wetlands development at Wallasea Island drive through Rochford on the way there."

Mr Cutmore also said Hockley has been earmarked for a makeover.

He said: "The shops in Hockley town centre do need some development, because at the moment they are very drab and dreary.

"Hockley is a fairly affluent area, so you would have thought there would be some better shops."

The town centre masterplans are part of Rochford district council's local development framework, which will act as a future guide for new roads, housing, shops and facilities throughout the area.

By consulting residents, the district council wants to find out how much redevelopment is needed in Rochford and Hockley and what would be appropriate.

It has also promised to take into account the local character and history of the towns in any redevelopment.

Mr Cutmore added: "We have our own ideas, but we want to find out what other people's visions are for their towns."

However, the council has not put forward any timescales for development at this stage. People have until Friday, February 15, to register their views with the council.

You can do so online at or by calling the council hotline on 01702 546366.

A public exhibition of the initial results will be held in March before more final plans are drawn up.