A LEASE has been agreed for Walton’s historic Naze allowing a £1million visitor centre development to go ahead.

Essex Wildlife Trust secured funding and planning permission to create a state-of-the-art centre at the Naze for residents and visitors.

The trust was originally set to take on a 99-year lease for the entire Naze site.

But there was a backlash from some nearby residents who feared the trust would impose restrictions on the area if it took over.

Tendring Council has now agreed a new lease for the site to allow the million-pound scheme to move forward.

Essex Wildlife Trust will lease a small area of the Naze solely to build the new centre.

The council will continue to control the area as a whole, but a management board will be set up to oversee it.

The board will be made up of representatives from Tendring Council, Frinton and Walton Town Council and Essex County Council, as well as the wildlife trust.

Tendring Council leader Mick Page said it will provide the best of both worlds.

He said: “This will mean a new deal for the Naze which will respect and cherish its past and make the most of what I think is the best stretch of natural coastline in Essex for the benefit of residents and visitors.”

The education and visitor centre will include an observation room with views across the Naze landscape.

It will also feature education rooms for visitors to learn about the geological, biological and cultural significance of the area.