Lifeboat station set for go-ahead

A LIFEBOAT service is hoping to get the green light this month to go-ahead with a purpose-built modern station. Clacton's RNLI boats currently operate from two separate bases – one launching from beside the pier while the other is based in an out of date building on the promenade.

A LIFEBOAT service is hoping to get the green light this month to go-ahead with a purpose-built modern station.

Clacton's RNLI boats currently operate from two separate bases – one launching from beside the pier while the other is based in an out of date building on the promenade.

But the arrangements mean when the crews are called out for an emergency there can be a slight delay as they work out which of the two boats is being launched.

The D-class inshore boat is currently housed on west promenade, but the building is in need of upgrading because it lacks basic facilities such as toilets.


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Bosses originally looked into the possibility of extending the building but the plan would have required digging into the cliff face, requiring major structural work, making it too costly.

Instead an area of land at Hastings Avenue, behind the coastguard station, was identified for the £750,000 project and it is hoped Tendring District Council will approve the lease of land shortly.

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It is hoped that once the lease is signed the work will get underway later in the year and be completed by spring or summer 2006.

Press officer for Clacton RNLI, Mel Winger, said: "We will have everyone under one roof and there will be new facilities and a gift shop as well.

"One of the problems we have at the moment is parking which covers the lifeboat crew only but then you have to think about staff and shop volunteers.

"It is an exciting time and once we have got rubber stamped and we know it is underway then we can really celebrate."

In the future, the two Clacton boats will both be tractor launched across the beach.

Currently crew members receive a pager message alerting them to the emergency and then a second one to confirm which boat is being used.

A decision is due to be taken on the land lease by Tendring District Council later this month.

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