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Withernsea Pier vision

gathers momentum

    by Nicola Watson  
       
   

AMBITIOUS plans to build a 21st century version of Withernsea’s landmark pier have taken a giant leap forward. Just two years on from when the ‘Bring back our Pier’ idea was mooted by Withernsea Pier and Promenade Association, plans for the first phase of the project are about to be submitted to East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

The planning authority has drawings of how phase one could look after they were lodged as a pre-planning consultation document at the end of June. Now the association is awaiting the authority’s comments on the drawings by architect Robert Blundell from 3xa Design in Saltaire. It then hopes to finalise detailed plans for the initial part of the scheme, which are expected to be ready for submission by the end of August.

Torkel Larsen, chair of the Withernsea Pier and Promenade Association, said: “I’m actually quite excited; it seems to be really moving forward. We are anxious to get a reply from the East Riding Council and we want to get our full planning application in as soon as possible. A number of people have said what a fantastic project this is and it is quite encouraging. Local support has been great, people are very generous.

Over the Withfest weekend I spoke to a lot of people from all over the place and they all commented how they would love to come back in a few years’ time and walk on the pier.

“Now things are getting busier, we do need more people to help. If anyone can help with fundraising or on the committee that would be fantastic.”

The pier project is estimated to cost up to £8 million and will be vastly different to the resort’s original Victorian pier built in 1877, which was said to have cost £12,000, a vast amount of money at the time.

The pier - located where the town’s iconic Pier Towers stand today - was originally 1,196ft long. Its lifespan was limited as ships constantly crashed into it and it was taken down in 1903.

The new pier will be vastly different to its predecessor at 560ft long with a renewable energy centre at the pier head. Information on the Withernsea Pier Plans website shows phase one as a balcony area attached to Pier Towers at a cost of approximately £200,000. It will be followed by a second stage consisting of six to 10, 40-foot sections ensuring the end of the pier will be in the sea even at low tide.

Stage 3: the pier head, will extend the pier a further 120 feet, bringing itstotal length to 560 feet. It is hoped the fourth and final stage will see a twostorey renewable energy centre at the pier head, featuring a wind turbine and solar panels on the roof, a small hydroelectric generator, and a wave and tidal generation system under the pier. Plans include a kitchen and cafe/restaurant with an open plan room for conferences and events upstairs.

Fundraising for phase one of the pier project began in March 2017 following a £5,000 feasibility study, paid for by Big Local, with some community funding from Tesco for banners and leaflets.

Around £15,000 has been raised so far for phase one, and the pier has over 90 sponsors with 80 association members and a committee of eight. Withernsea’s Ruby Reds recently completed a fundraising ‘Bring Back Our Pier’ tour and are set to present a cheque next month.

To get involved email [email protected] withernsea1.co.uk or visit the Withernsea Pier Facebook page.

 
         
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