Pier project chairman resigns after delays to scheme

THE chairman of the Withernsea Pier Project has resigned over what he reportedly claims are obstacles being put in the way of the scheme.

The plans received permission from East Riding Council in May 2019, and, having successfully raised the necessary funding for the project, work was due to start on the viewing platform on March 29, 2021. But, as previously reported in the Gazette, a series of additional queries from East Riding Council about the project’s plans led to delays last year, and no work has yet been carried out.

One of the latest issues appears to centre on the material for the proposed piling beneath the first stage of the pier; the pier association is unable to confirm to the council what material will be used until it engages a contractor, but they cannot award the construction contract until they have permission from the council to go ahead.

Torkel Larsen, the driving force behind the pier plans, told Radio Humberside last week that he was stepping down due to increased frustration with the delays.

The Withernsea Pier and Promenade Association was formed after Mr Larsen stumbled across an architect’s drawing of the town pier from 1870. After sharing it on Facebook, he called a meeting to find out whether people would be interested in plans to rebuild the pier, and the project snowballed from there.

The proposed pier is to be built in four distinct stages. The first of which will be a viewing platform accessed through the original Pier Towers, constructed as the portal to the pier in 1878, and which has stood forlornly overlooking the beach and sea since the removal of the last section of the original pier by 1905.

Paul Thornton will now chair the WPPA.