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Car park closed as Felixstowe Pier revamp finally gets under way

PUBLISHED: 09:39 06 October 2016 | UPDATED: 09:39 06 October 2016

Work is about to begin on Felixstowe Pier.

Work is about to begin on Felixstowe Pier.

Archant

Work is officially underway on a long-awaited multi-million pound refurbishment of one of Suffolk's best-known landmarks.

Work is about to begin on Felixstowe Pier.Work is about to begin on Felixstowe Pier.

Public access, including a car park and section of promenade, has been closed off around Felixstowe Pier to sllow machinery to move on site to start demolishing the current structure.

The project, understood to be costing around £3million, is expected to take 36 weeks and the pier’s owners are hoping to open the new pier next summer – and welcome a huge influx of visitors to enjoy the new attractions.

Suffolk Coastal has closed part of the Pier Bight car park in Undercliff Road West to enable the scheme to take place.

A Suffolk district council spokesman said: “The area of the car park nearest Felixstowe Leisure Centre will be closed to allow it to be used as the compound for the construction work – which is due to last until July 2017.

Work is about to begin on Felixstowe Pier.Work is about to begin on Felixstowe Pier.

“We apologise for any inconvenience this closure may cause. However, part of the Pier Bight car park will remain open for public use and alternative car parking is also available nearby in the Convalescent Hill car park and in the Felixstowe Leisure Centre car park at the new Beachside Event Area.”

The revamp of the pier will involve creation of a new 39 metre long building – slightly larger than the current one – to include retail outlets, restaurant and family entertainments centre.

It had been hoped to have a 73m building with a function suite seating 325 people, a second storey and a shipping observation tower with walkway. However, this part of the plan had to be removed because of the enormous costs of offshore works.

Pier owner Stan Threadwell has said that if the revamp proves a success, there is every possibilty that it could be extended again to include additional features in the years ahead.

One of the gains of the changed plans is that the part of the pier sticking out over the sea will remain – under the originally-approved scheme it would have been mostly demolished with only a short section staying.

However, because it is unsafe, people will still not be able to walk its length.

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