Felixstowe: Residents voice concerns over impact of new pier

“WE don’t want to become another Blackpool”.

That was the worry voiced today by seafront residents who fear Felixstowe could lose its Victorian and Edwardian charm if the resort gets a futuristic seaside entertainments complex.

Pier Amusements Ltd has unveiled plans to create a multi-million pound new-style privately-funded pier.

But seafront residents are worried at the impact it could have on the resort and their own properties and outlook.

Gillian Moseley, secretary/chairman of the South Hill Area Residents’ Association (SHARA), said the plans for the pier had come as a shock to the residents.

“Our homes are closest to the pier and yet no-one has informed us of these plans or that any proposals were under discussion,” she said.

“It is very worrying and SHARA will be getting together to look at the plans in detail and make a response.

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“My initial view is that this is in the wrong place. If they can demolish and rebuild the pier, then it should be rebuilt near the Spa Pavilion, where it would be away from residents’ homes.

“The scheme needs to be looked at very closely. We don’t want Felixstowe to become another Blackpool.”

Suffolk Coastal has said that public consultation is now under way and people are welcome to submit their views. Councillors are unlikely to make a decision before the autumn.

Pier owner Stan Threadwell, who is securing private funding for the project, wants to build a futuristic attraction on two storeys, including a bowling centre, catering facilities, traditional arcade and gaming area, plus a bar and restaurant with sea views, continental-style ice cream parlour, and toilets.

There will also be a function suite able to seat up to 325 people, plus outside terraces, and an observation tower with an entertainment experience using screens showing shipping movements to and from the Port of Felixstowe. Both sides and a central curved deck will be surrounded by a 580ft boardwalk.