Rejected vision to revive Shotley Pier set to be reviewed
PUBLISHED: 13:12 08 April 2019 | UPDATED: 15:58 08 April 2019
Rejected plans for the revival of Shotley's historic pier could be overturned as a planning inspector gets set to take a second look at the decision.
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.
But now a member of the government’s Planning Inspectorate will decide whether the design gets approved or if the owners have to go back to the drawing board.
The pier was bought by a group of residents and volunteers, the Shotley Heritage Charitable Community Benefit Society, in February 2018 in a bid to restore the tourist attraction from its derelict state.
Sally Chicken, one of the group’s directors, said: “We are very pleased to hear that our appeal is moving forward and the inspectorate have appointed someone to review it independently.
“Even more exciting is the latest grant we have received, a £50,000 from the Coastal Revival Fund, which will let us start work on repairing the piling of the pier and making it safe to walk on, if we win the appeal.
The Coastal Revival Fund, a pot of money distributed by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, is designated for iconic seaside locations to revitalise their attractions and economy. The £50,000 is the maximum amount available per application.
“We have been applying for more grants as well, so we are definitely heading in the right direction,” added Mrs Chicken.
More than 500 people donated money and purchased shares in the pier to secure its future, with directors applying for additional grants.
The shareholders thrashed out a more modest development since the council vote last year.
An original proposal of 80-seater cafe was scaled down following concerns raised by a nearby pub and two buildings erected either side of the original pier will be shorter and built with flood prevention materials, letting them rise in the event of high tides.
The Planning Inspectorate’s decision will be made after the final comments from all interested parties are submitted on May 14.