BUSINESS owners in Pitsea are giving their backing to regeneration plans.

The scheme will mean large-scale changes to the town, including the building of a 75,000 sq ft Morrisons store.

Opposition councillors have condemned the plans, as there is already a large Tesco Extra superstore nearby. It will also mean Pitsea swimming pool is demolished to make way for the project.

Despite the news Morrisons would be moving in, some small Pitsea businesses are backing the project, saying it is just what the area needs to boost trade and bring more people into the heart of Pitsea.

Carol Turner, owner of World of Flowers in Broadway North, welcomed the news.

“I think it’s a brilliant idea in all honesty.

“I know it is controversial and I should be worried, as they will sell flowers, but I am sure it will do good things for the area.

“Pitsea could do with some regeneration anyway, and the plans I have seen look exciting. The more people, the better.”

Lucy’s Little’uns, in High Road, is run by Lucy Hallett and has been open almost a year. She said there is never a bad time for more business.

She added: “We sell children and baby clothes, so we are very much a niche seller.

“I don’t suppose Morrisons would sell baby clothes, so I won’t lose business but will have more people coming in. Pitsea could do with a spruce up.”

The owner of Hair Oasis, in High Road, also believes it is a good idea, citing increased footfall as the main reason for a business boost.

Azmy Farag said: “I believe it is a positive thing and outweighs the negatives. We are very close to the town centre, and although the building work may be negative initially, it will be a case of no gain, no pain.

“I am looking forward to the future.”

Under the plans, the pool, in Northlands Pavement, a row of shops, including Aldi and part of the market would make way for the new Morrisons, which could create 350 local jobs, and another 200 during its construction.

The plans will see Pitsea market being moved to the site of the former Railway Hotel. Work could begin next summer.