AN abandoned former car garage in Walton could be turned into apartments if developers and builders dig-deep at auction next month.

The debilitated site, located on the corner of High Street, was once occupied by P&B Autos LTD, but is now a vacant eyesore tarnishing the seaside’s main stretch road.

In a bid to improve the site, in April, Tendring Council granted planning permission to allow the demolition of the current structure and ten apartments to be built.

The land, which also has scope for parking and landscaping, is now being auctioned off by Global Estates and Clive Emson at Chelmsford Racecourse on December 9.

The guide price for the property is currently set at £325,000, and auctioneer Paul Bridgeman believes there will be strong interest for both developers and builders.

Mr Bridgeman, past president of the National Association of Valuers and Auctioneers, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to acquire a large plot right in the centre of this coastal town with planning consent already in place.

“We are expecting strong interest from developers and builders seeking a good-sized project with the red tape and inconvenience of obtaining planning permission already dealt with.”

Hilary Carter, 64, of Newgate Street, is a local campaigner dedicated to preventing the green spaces in Walton from falling victim to overdevelopment.

She is currently battling alongside other residents to save a small public garden in Church Road from being built-on and turned into flats.

On this occasion, however, Ms Carter has welcomed the decision to sell-off the site and says ten new apartments would actually enhance the look of the town centre.

She said: “The old garage is a bit of an eyesore, so in my opinion flats on that plot would be an improvement.

“The plot is already concrete, so I am not against the development because my concern is development on existing green sites.

“There is a lot of new homes being built in Walton and new people are moving into the town, which means more people to support local businesses and local shops.

“But is does also mean more patients for local surgeries and more children at schools.

“Growth is a positive thing as long as the facilities and infrastructure can cope.”

The auction will take place at Chelmsford City Racecourse on December 9 from 11am.

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