Seafront shelter to be demolished
WORK is set to start to demolish an Edwardian seafront shelter which had become a magnet for anti-social behaviour.The £50,000 project will see the Long Shelter in the Spa Gardens knocked down and replaced with an open-air seated and planted areas for family picnics and people to sit and enjoy the sea.
WORK is set to start to demolish an Edwardian seafront shelter which had become a magnet for anti-social behaviour.
The £50,000 project will see the Long Shelter in the Spa Gardens knocked down and replaced with an open-air seated and planted areas for family picnics and people to sit and enjoy the sea.
Town councillors hope that in the long-term funding might be available to create an outdoor performance area.
The Long Shelter, at the bottom of Bath Hill, was one of the original centrepieces of the Felixstowe seaside experience.
It has been a feature of the resort's seafront gardens for nearly 100 years, but has been closed because it has become structurally unsafe with experts worried that its arches could collapse.
Before it was fenced off because of the danger it had become a haunt for teenage gangs meeting for mischief.
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Cabinet member at Suffolk Coastal council, Robert Whiting said the work would create a new peaceful paved area.
He said: “The structural defects mean that the shelter really requires quite substantial rebuilding work and there have also been regular complaints that it had become a magnet for anti-social behaviour.
“It has left us with little alternative than to demolish it.
“However, we are renovating the rear wall, which pre-dates the shelter.
“We plan to replace the shelter with a paved area, with some seating, using pale, warm sandstone while using some of the old blocks from the shelter in the new low walls.
“It will cost us around £50,000 to carry out all the necessary work, but now we have got planning permission for the demolition and the replacement scheme, I hope that it will all be completed in time for the summer rush.”
It is understood the original shelter was built in either 1909 or ten years later, with seven shallow arches each spanning 3.5 metres, supported on six columns, and running along a length of 28 metres - providing a place to shelter on wet and windy days.
The new area will be fully accessible so people in wheelchairs or those pushing buggies or prams will have no problem getting into this new oasis among the seafront gardens.
Planting will include seaside-loving plants such as lavender, rock rose, tamarix and santolina.
Do you think the Long Shelter should be knocked down? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk