June 19 2013 Latest news:
BY RICHARD CORNWELL, Felixstowe editor
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
MULTI-million pound proposals to create a new pier to regenerate Felixstowe seafront are set to get the go-ahead, it was revealed today.
■ Felixstowe Futures: “Redevelopment of the pier would provide a massive boost to upgrading the area and enhance the tourist facilities, as well as greatly assisting with other plans for rejuvenation of the seafront.”
■ Andy Wright, head of community and economic services at Suffolk Coastal: “It will provide a seafront focal point for both the local and visiting community. It is hoped it will bring increased trade to local retailers and businesses. The function room will be of great benefit for community events, leisure activities and for business gatherings.”
■ English Heritage: “The proposed new building surmounting the retained landward part of the pier appears to be potentially an interesting addition to the seafront, which could provide a new landmark as well as adding new attractions and vibrancy.”
■ Felixstowe Town Council: “We believe the proposed new pier and associated works, incorporating a wide variety of visitor activities, will be of very great value to the town, its residents, and the vitality of the tourist trade in the town as a whole.”
Planners are giving their full backing to the project, which has been hailed as a “massive boost” for the seaside town.
They believe the pier will not only bring more visitors to the resort, but act as a catalyst to kick-start a real upswing in encouraging other traders to set up new attractions and improve their businesses.
Suffolk Coastal councillors will decide the proposals next Thursday and are recommended to agree to the development, which pier owner Stan Threadwell wants to start next year and have open by 2014.
As well as the new pier, the revamp of the Pier Bight and yacht pond areas will see new cars parks, major changes to the promenade, and the creation of a plaza for outdoor events in front of Felixstowe Leisure Centre.
“The proposals are recognised to be a substantial investment that would add significantly to the importance of Felixstowe as a visitor destination, boosting its appeal as a tourist destination,” said planning case officer Michaelle Coupe.
“It will likely become a focal point attracting more visitors to the town, bringing increased trade to other local businesses, and act as a catalyst for further investment and upgrading of the area.
“Although the proposals will entail the removal of an historic asset, it will be replaced with a new landmark feature that will enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area.”
Subject to appropriate conditions being put in place, officers did not consider the project would cause significant harm to nearby residents, highway safety, the environment or cause problems relating to flood risk, and the proposals would bring economic, social and environmental gains.
The new pier will feature a beachside leisure complex sticking out over the sea and featuring a range of attractions, including amusements and leisure activities, a function suite for 325 people, bars and restaurants, and a high-tech shipping observation tower.