Felixstowe: Big step forward for pier project

PROPOSALS for a multi-million pound makeover to turn Felixstowe’s pier into a top attraction to regenerate the resort have today successfully crossed their first major hurdle.

Town councillors gave the exciting scheme the thumbs up – welcoming the design, facilities, and the new business it will bring to the seaside.

They were told the added bonus would be 36 new full-time jobs and three extra part-time.

Councillors approved the plans and recommended Suffolk Coastal to give the scheme the go-ahead and allow work to start next year.

Former mayor Doreen Savage said: “It is magnificent. We have moaned and groaned about the pier for years and suddenly we have this amazing opportunity – pier owner Stan Threadwell must be congratulated on a brilliant design.”

Councillor Mike Stokell said: “This will be for the benefit of the town as a whole and for generations to come and everyone involved should be applauded.”

Plans committee chairman Andy Smith said: “This is one of the most exciting applications to come before us for a very long time.”

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More details were revealed about the scheme – which is to be built by pier owner Stan Threadwell with private finance – and the way it will change the seafront area.

The promenade will be raised to the height of the sea wall at the front of the pier to enable easy access for disabled people, plus a ramp across the wall from Pier Bight to ensure people can visit the attraction even when the flood gates are closed.

The area in front of the leisure centre will be revamped, with the car park removed, while the old yacht pond will become parking with the rest of the area used for new seaside attractions.

While the old pier would be demolished, the new one would still stick out over the sea, and its buildings feature double the space for leisure activities, bars, restaurant and a 325-seater function area, plus walkways and a high-tech shipping observation tower.