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Row over saving Felixstowe pier

PUBLISHED: 14:00 17 May 2002 | UPDATED: 11:57 03 March 2010

SHOULD Felixstowe pier be saved – or the bulldozers brought in to demolish it? The jury at the resort is clearly still out.

Campaigners have launched a Save Our Pier campaign but not everyone in the town agrees that the landmark is worth keeping.

SHOULD Felixstowe pier be saved – or the bulldozers brought in to demolish it? The jury at the resort is clearly still out.

Campaigners have launched a Save Our Pier campaign, but not everyone in the town agrees that the landmark is worth keeping.

Adrian Reynolds, vice chairman of Trimley Carnival, has called on residents to help save the attraction. He said: "Why do the people in charge seem to think, 'Well, that's it. Let's get rid'?"

"I was disgusted to find that Suffolk Coastal council managed only a measly £5,000 towards the feasibility study. What an insult to the people of Felixstowe and the people who created the pier.

"I came to this town four years ago from Birmingham and I must admit that the total lack of any forward thinking development is absolutely pathetic."

He was appalled at the £300,000 being spent to revamp Felixstowe's civic centre when so little was spent on tourism.

"We ought to have a Save Felixstowe's Tourism Campaign," said Mr Reynolds.

Tony Lazell, of Hamilton Road, Felixstowe, has called on the council to invest cash in the pier because the town has lost too many attractions.

"There should be no questions to ask, no debates to hold. Felixstowe pier is part of our history and heritage and has been used by thousands of people," he said.

"Even though it is in a very poor state, everything humanly possible should be done to save it and make it safe and accessible to the public."

But resident Gordon Cockburn said: "Save the Pier, why? Felixstowe pier has but two functions. first, as a platform for anglers and, second, as a launchpad for the annual fireworks display. Both of these functions can easily be relocated elsewhere.

"Do we really want to consider reviving the romantic notion of the Edwardian or Victorian era? I think not.

"As a resort in the 21st century, we should be embracing innovation and technological advancement, not forever looking back.

"Take a look at the more successful resorts around the globe and ask why people go to these resorts year after year. I doubt they will find many resorts where people are attracted by a Victorian pier, open-top bus, donkey rides and pedal cars. Tourists enjoy excitement, challenge, adventure, nightlife, and good weather.

"I am not suggesting that we adopt a policy of making Felixstowe an attractive resort for solely the 18–30 age group but, likewise, we should not endeavour to make it a resort only attractive to the 60–90 age group.

"There is a middle ground and we should strive to take Felixstowe to the middle ground, where families feel comfortable, but teens and 20-somethings feel equally comfortable and will want to return."

The Felixstowe Pier Trust wanted to replace the landmark with a £15m complex, including a casino, conference centre and the world's largest revolving restaurant, but has been forced to abandon its plans because of lack of interest.

It feels only a mega-attraction will regenerate Felixstowe as a resort and bring people from further afield than Ipswich.


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