FUNDING worth more than £1.5million is set to be put aside to deliver the first stage of a masterplan for Dovercourt town centre.

Tendring Council’s cabinet looks set to approve the funds to help deliver projects at the long-derelict Starlings site and the Milton Road car park.

Under the council’s plans, £1.4million of the money will be spent buying the vacant Starlings site, in Main Road, and developing a 59-space surface car park.

Some of the cash will be used to build public toilets and a public space between the new site and the High Street.

This space will include benches, trees and a children’s play area.

The council will spend £163,000 on demolishing the Milton Road car park, building a terrace of nine three-bedroom town houses in its place.

The three-storey houses will sit above a shared 17-space car park.

As part of this development, 15 public parking spaces will be provided on Bagshaw Road.

These parking spaces would be interspersed with trees, to enhance the quality of the street scene. Should the council’s cabinet give the plans the green light, the authority will move to buy the Starlings site and start the project.

The schemes are the first stages of Tendring Council’s Masterplan Revisited, which was designed to replace a 2011 plan titled Dovercourt Rediscovered.

It lists 20 projects for the town, including an overspill car park off the A120 near Dovercourt Station, reviving the street market and shopfront improvements in High Street and Kingsway.

A report prepared by Tom Gardiner, head of regeneration at Tendring Council, said Dovercourt had lost its pre-war zest and vitality.

He says the aim of the masterplan is to help to “rediscover Dovercourt’s former glory”.

He said: “Dovercourt has suffered from the generic decline in the popularity of English seaside towns.

“As a consequence of this and other local factors – such as the transformation of working practices at Harwich International Port – and the decline of other industry, the town’s economy has contracted.

“The acquisition and redevelopment of the Starlings site and the demolition and subsequent redevelopment of the Milton Road car park are identified as being critical components to securing the successful transformation and renaissance of Dovercourt town centre.”

The two projects will go before the council’s cabinet today.