The owner of Halstead Antiques Centre is backing plans to convert Mill House into a hotel.

James Killbery's business, based at Townsford Mill, will not be affected by the potential conversion of the former town council offices.

Mr Killbery has echoed the thoughts of applicant John de Bruyne that the hotel will help bring more people to Halstead and has praised his landlord for sticking to his original plans.

Mr Killbery told the Gazette: "In the end the landlord John has been very consistent because he came in here and said 'this is great, I like this I don't want to change it at all'.

"The hotel has been his plan all along and he hasn't varied from it.

"We are not concerned at all. We are quite happy and we will be pleased to have people visiting next door.

"Anything that brings people in to the town is a good thing."

Mr Killbery was also in support of plans to move the market closer to the mill.

He added: "That would be really good, especially if it was an antiques market. Any special event that draws people is going to be good for me and the other businesses here."