A POPULAR public space and cattery will be protected from a massive revamp of a busy A127 junction, Southend Council has confirmed.

The overhaul of the Tesco roundabout, at Prince Avenue and Nestuda Way, Westcliff, will take place within the current highway boundary.

Nearby residents had expressed concerns part of the Millennium Open Space or Shalynn Cattery and Pet Centre on the A127 may be needed to accommodate the changes. However Southend Council, which will carry out the £4.75million works, has confirmed no extra land is needed.

A spokesman said: “The scheme does not need any extra land outside the current highway boundary – the bid for funding was very clear about this.

“We can certainly deny that the plans, as they stand, include the loss of any of the Millennium Open Space and/or Shalynn Cattery and Pet Centre. Any mention of funding set aside by the council for compensation is in respect of the Land Compensation Act, which applies one year after opening the scheme and relates to any reduction in value of nearby properties and not loss of land.”

Extra lanes and new traffic lights with sensors are planned as part of the work to tackle tailbacks at the busy roundabout.

Work is expected to start in September and the project is expected to be finished in July 2015. The Southend-bound carriageway will be widened to four lanes, with one dedicated for turning left towards the airport and the second as a left turn or straight ahead.

An additional lane from Nestuda Way, south towards the roundabout, will also be built. A third London-bound lane will be added and a third exit lane from Tesco and the Royal Bank of Scotland sites will also be included.