Pier development gets the go-ahead

A SOUTHWOLD businessman is delighted to have finally got the green light for his pier development.Stephen Bournes, owner of Southwold Pier, was last night given the go-ahead by Waveney District Council's Rural Development Control Committee to convert the art deco Beachcomber Room at the pier into 10 holiday apartments.

A SOUTHWOLD businessman is delighted to have finally got the green light for his pier development.

Stephen Bournes, owner of Southwold Pier, was last night given the go-ahead by Waveney District Council's Rural Development Control Committee to convert the art deco Beachcomber Room at the pier into 10 holiday apartments.

It is the second time that Mr Bournes has submitted a planning application for the project. It was set to be decided in January but got deferred so that the Environment Agency's response to the scheme could be considered.

Mr Bournes said he was really pleased that the councillors, who met at Beccles last night, had finally approved the project.


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He said last night: “These proposals will bring new vitality to the pier and will be, I believe, a unique feature along Britain's coastline.

“Our next aim is to work with the council and its emergency planning team to devise a robust flood risk operational strategy which will allow the development to proceed on a viable footing, while providing safe accommodation for the lifespan of the building.”

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The state-of-the art two-bedroom holiday apartments, designed by Ipswich-based architects Barefoot and Gilles, will be fully furnished and will feature roof-top balconies and terraces as well as en-suite bathrooms.

Roger Gilles, architect for the scheme, said: “Our proposals to extend the building are sympathetic to the original and will create an exciting new attraction for the town.”

Mr Bournes' previous application prompted a series of objections as people were outraged at the loss of the only major function room in the town and dramatic alteration to the pier.

The revised plan proposes to extend the Boardwalk Restaurant and use that as a multifunction room while the number of holiday apartments are reduced from 12 to 10.

It has prompted six letters of opposition from residents and was recommended for refusal by the Southwold Town Council on several grounds, including that the multifunction room was an inadequate replacement for the Beachcomber Room.

kate.scotter@eadt.co.uk

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