RESIDENTS will be asked their views on pedestrianising Canvey’s main shopping street as part of plans to redevelop the town centre.

Castle Point Council is planning a £100million overhaul of the island’s shopping area, which could see a new multi-storey car park built, and the expansion of Sainsbury’s supermarket.

Despite the proposed investment, there are no plans to close off Canvey’s main shopping street, Furtherwick Road, to traffic as part of the proposals.

Members of Canvey town council believe that is a mistake and are sending out a questionnaire to every household on the island asking residents for their views.

John Anderson, town council chairman, said: “I don’t want to see Canvey get second best.

“When they redevelop town centres up and down the country they have pedestrianised centres. Why should we be walking around the shops through roaring traffic?”

It will be the second time residents have been consulted on the town centre’s redevelopment.

Castle Point Council opened a special regeneration shop in the town centre last year, where thousands of people gave their views on the redevelopment proposals.

Their views were then factored into the final plans.

According to the borough council, only four residents spoke in favour of closing off Furtherwick Road to traffic.

However, the town council has concerns about the way the consultation was run.

Councillor Dave Blackwell said: “The problem was Castle Point did not ask people ‘do you want the High Street pedestrianised – yes or no’. They just asked for their views on the whole redevelopment.

“If they’d asked them the question directly, I’m sure many more people would have come out in favour of it.

“We’ve had lots of people coming to us saying what a good idea it would be.”

The town council’s questionnaire will be in the authority’s quarterly newsletter, which will go out in September.

David Marchant, chief executive of Castle Point Council, said; “Canvey Traders’ Association made it very clear to us pedestrianisation was not its preferred option. In general, the consultation carried out with the community through the Regen Shop did not identify a need for pedestrianisation.

“However, we are aware the town council has raised this issue and so we have asked MVA, the specialist highway engineers to revisit and expand on its original work. and we expect to receive its formal report in the next few weeks.”

The first phase of the redevelopment for the town centre, which includes the Sainsbury’s expansion plan, is set to be completed in the next five years.