Team work aiming for a start on new pier for Felixstowe this year

An artist's impression of the new Felixstowe Pier.

An artist's impression of the new Felixstowe Pier. - Credit: Archant

A task force has been set up to help get through all the red tape surrounding the multi-million pound project for a new Felixstowe pier.

Twenty-plus different licences and agreements must be agreed, completed and signed before the scheme can start – and a rolling programme has been drawn up to ensure all deadlines are met for the contractors to begin on site in the autumn.

Andy Smith, cabinet member for economic development and coastal management at Suffolk Coastal council, said the long-awaited project by Pier Amusements Ltd to rebuild the pierhead building was now well into its final planning stages.

He said: “But it is a hugely complex minefield of interlocking permissions, licences, legal agreements and the like, given that it is both a maritime and a land -based scheme, and directly affects our land and interests at the leisure centre.

“We have set up a working group from all Suffolk Coastal departments involved, and the company, to work together to thrash out all these issues as efficiently as possible, protecting our interests and our regulatory responsibilities as well as ensuring the maximum tourism benefits to the area from timely completion of the project.

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“The target build period is September 2016 to May 2017.”

The revamp will involve creation of a new 39 metre long building – slightly larger than the current one – to include retail outlets, restaurant and family entertainments centre.

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It had been hoped to have a 73m building with a function suite seating 325 people, a second storey and a shipping observation tower with walkway. However, this part of the plan had to be removed because of the enormous costs of offshore works.

Pier owner Stan Threadwell has said that if the revamp proves a success, there is every possibilty that it could be extended again to include additional features in the years ahead.

One of the gains of the changed plans is that the part of the pier sticking out over the sea will remain – under the originally-approved multi-million pound scheme it would have been mostly demolished with only a short section staying.

Community leaders and tourism bosses though believe the new pier will provide a landmark attraction for the resort.

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