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Shotley Pier designs welcomed by shareholders at latest meeting

PUBLISHED: 16:01 27 April 2019

Some of the peir's shareholders with MP James Cartlidge after the group secured the purchase of the pier in 2018 Picture: SHOTLEY HERATIGE CHARITABLE COMMUNITY BENEFIT SOCIETY LTD

Some of the peir's shareholders with MP James Cartlidge after the group secured the purchase of the pier in 2018 Picture: SHOTLEY HERATIGE CHARITABLE COMMUNITY BENEFIT SOCIETY LTD

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Plans for Suffolk's historic Shotley Pier were celebrated by shareholders at a meeting unveiling the tourist attraction's latest developments.

Currently closed for renovation, Shotley Pier could open its landing bridge to vistors in the near future Picture: RACHEL EDGECurrently closed for renovation, Shotley Pier could open its landing bridge to vistors in the near future Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Directors of the Shotley Heritage Charitable Community Benefit Society, which bought the pier in February 2018, took questions from investors in the project on April 26, setting out the vision for next summer's work and beyond.

The group has secured a £200,000 grant from the government-backed Coastal Community Fund to begin work to make the pier safe and to make the first section of the pier accessible to the public.

Sally Chicken, one of the directors of the pier group, said: “It was a fantastic evening, really positive. We had about 55 people come along and find out more about the plans and ask questions - it was good to be able to explain the details of what we are planning to do next.

“The latest designs had already been on display in Shotley so most people had an idea of what it might look like, but it was great to talk people through it as well.”

Board members of Save Shotley Pier group, who met with investors to talk about the latest plans for the tourist attraction Picture: RACHEL EDGEBoard members of Save Shotley Pier group, who met with investors to talk about the latest plans for the tourist attraction Picture: RACHEL EDGE

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The original proposal, including a cafe, workshop and space for anglers, lost by one vote in a heated debate at Babergh District Council in August 2018, despite council officers recommending the development go ahead. An appeal is underway.

If the plans are approved, the buildings that are due to be built will be supported by pontoons, designed to float in the event of exceptionally high tides.

Mrs Chicken added: “We did have one question about the pilings next to the pontoons - at the moment the design means that a pole will be exposed above the walkway that allows the buildings to rise and fall, which one person didn't like the idea of.

Shotley Pier's pilings need to be made safe before it can be fully opened for public use, a project estimated to cost hundreds of thousands of pounds Picture: RACHEL EDGEShotley Pier's pilings need to be made safe before it can be fully opened for public use, a project estimated to cost hundreds of thousands of pounds Picture: RACHEL EDGE

“The system to let the buildings float is used in places like Holland already, and there was some technical debate about their size and height, and sleeve pile techniques.”

The group has been working towards restoring the tourist attraction from its derelict state.

Since then, repair works to maintain the pier and keep it safe are still ongoing, including the removal of hand rails that were collapsing and the extraction of asbestos.

More than 500 people donated money and purchased shares in the pier to secure its future when it was bought, with directors still seeking additional funding.

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