Bid to overturn rejected seaside pier revival plan fails
PUBLISHED: 08:35 13 June 2019 | UPDATED: 08:35 13 June 2019
The revival a historic seaside pier has been dealt a huge blow after a bid to overturn a rejected planning application failed.
Shotley Pier, in Queen Victoria Drive, Shotley, was bought by a community group in February 2018 with the hope it could be turned into a tourist destination once again.
But plans to add an 80-seat cafe and large workshop were rejected by Babergh District Council in August.
Now an appeal launched by campaigners against the decision has also failed, with a planning inspector's report stating that: "No matters, including benefits of the development and the scope of possible planning conditions, have been found to outweigh the identified harm."
Inspector Robert Fallon also found the size of the plans "would erode the open outlook currently enjoyed" from land.
However one of the directors of the pier group, Sally Chicken, said: "While we are disappointed with the result, as you know we have drawn up our revised plans and will be submitting them soon.
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"Our top priorities are free entry to the pier and shelter, so the pier can be used all year round."
She added: "I was most surprised about the concerns about the scale of the pier's plans when there is a three-storey housing development metres away from the pier.
"We are preparing a new application, we will be listening to everyone at our meetings and coffee mornings and we'll take those views on board."
A petition by opponents of the plans, called Protect Our Pier (POP), gathered hundreds of signatures in 2018 and was supported by some nearby businesses, which were concerned the pier could absorb trade and obscure the views.
Babergh district councillor and POP member Derek Davis said: "This decision is no surprise and I feel the inspector has made some very clear and concise points, showing he agrees with a lot of the points and arguments made by many Shotley residents.
"No doubt if any fresh application is made then it will be looked upon by me and the planning committee as a new plan and dealt with on its own merits, and residents will have their say."
Directors of the pier group will be at St Mary's Church on June 15 for the Peninsula, Land and Sea art exhibition.
Members have invited shareholders and the public to discuss the pier.