Proposals to transform a derelict site in Dovercourt into a car park, public toilets and events space have been given the go-ahead.

Tendring Council is looking to use the site of the former Starlings garage and Queens Head Hotel, which burnt down a number of years ago, to create a new public space in the town between Milton Road and Orwell Road.

A consultation was held earlier in the year to gather local residents’ views on the plans.

There was broad support for the regeneration of the site and a particular interest in the proposed events space.

A planning application was finally submitted in August and the authority’s planning committee approved the proposals on Tuesday.

Mary Newton, cabinet member for business and economic growth, said this was another positive step forward for the site.

“I am pleased that this project has secured planning permission and that we can now move on to the next phase of this exciting development,” she said,

“Clearing and making best use of the Starlings site is an important priority for the council.”

Construction is expected to start at the end of this year now that planning permission has been granted.

The plans include a 51-space car park, public toilets, and hard and soft landscaping.

The proposed design will enable the council to also use the site as an event space, providing capacity in the town centre for one-off events such as a Christmas market or travelling fair.

The car park will replace the adjacent Milton Road car park, with separate work being carried out by the council to establish the best use for that site.

The council purchased the Starlings site at the end of last year after complex negotiations and cleared the site.

It has appointed a principle design team to develop the detailed proposals and to manage the construction process through to completion.