Felixstowe: Pier visit to be made before new attraction is discussed

COMMUNITY leaders are set to make an official visit to Felixstowe’s pier before deciding whether the landmark should be demolished and replaced with a multi-million pound new one.

Planning officers say it is essential councillors get a feel for the area and have a full understanding of the seafront landscape before they discuss the project.

Pier owner Stan Threadwell has submitted plans to knock down the current century-old pier and build a new attraction out over the sea.

The new pier would feature double the space for leisure activities, bars, restaurant and a 325-seater function area, plus walkways and a high-tech shipping observation tower.

Head of planning at Suffolk Coastal, Philip Ridley said officers were preparing a full report to be presented to the development control sub committee including a summary of all representations received and a summary of all relevant policies.

“Given the significance of the pier, promenade and the leisure gardens to Felixstowe’s historic role as a seaside town and coastal resort, it is considered members would benefit from a visit to the site, to fully assess the impact of the proposals on the character and appearance of the area, prior to their full consideration of all the issues at a later meeting,” he said.

Councillors will be asked to consider the loss of the current pier, a heritage asset in a Conservation Area setting, and whether the proposed scheme preserves or enhances the character or appearance of the area.

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They will also look at flood risk issues, and the impact on existing flood defences; the design, implications for nearby residents, traffic, noise, and the contribution towards tourism provision in the town.

“The applicants have also indicated that the proposals will provide an opportunity to enhance Felixstowe Leisure Centre frontage to form a focal point to the entrances of both the leisure centre and the pier, by creating a new square or plaza,” said Mr Ridley.

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