Withernsea's £8m pier plan could get off the ground this autumn

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 23 Apr 2019

Withernsea’s ambitious £8m pier plan could get off the ground later this year.

Project leaders want the resort to have only the second pier built in the country this century.

A marine licence was granted this week for the first phase viewing platform, which will now need planning permission from East Riding Council.

It is hoped the sub-structure piling could be in place by October, with the viewing platform open for summer 2020.

See how Withernsea's Pier could look

The decked platform would cost £225,000, with £38,000 already granted by the East Coast Communities Fund and major funding sought from another source.

Withernsea Pier and Promenade Association is behind plans to reunite the resort’s Pier Towers with another pier, more than a century after the loss of the town’s original Victorian structure.

Kevin Watson, secretary of Withernsea Pier and Promenade Association, says: “The people of Withernsea and the businesses are all behind us. People are buzzing.

“Ninety five per cent of businesses have sponsored it.

 “We have a fantastic promenade and sea wall but if you're on a mobility scooter, in a wheelchair or you are under 4ft 6in you can’t see the sea and beach over the wall.

“With this viewing platform everyone will absolutely be able to enjoy the sea.”

Plans for the viewing platform have been submitted to East Riding Council (Image: 3xa Design, Robert Blundell)

The 230sqm decked viewing platform would be free and open to the public all year round, with pop-up stalls for local vendors in the summer months.

Plans for a 560ft-long pier would follow, to help put Withernsea on the national map.

Mr Watson says: “It’s not just about Withernsea, it will help Holderness and East Yorkshire tourism. It will have a spin-off for the whole area.

“We think people will want to come and see it being built, it will have curiosity value for visitors.

“It will be only the second pier built this century, this is just the first stage.

“Once the viewing platform is built, we will start fund raising for the pier, which will go out from the viewing platform.

“Hopefully we will be able to draw in big funding from the National Lottery and other sources.”

A conceptual image from Torkel Larsen, chairman of Withernsea Pier and Promenade Association (Image: Torkel Larsen)

East Riding Council recently secured £48,600 to restore the historic Pier Towers to their former glory and the association hopes to be allowed to take on the towers as a community asset, once the work is complete.

Issues relating to the planning application for the viewing platform have been raised by East Riding Council’s senior coastal engineer Neil McLachlan, however.

Mr McLachlan told planners last month the planning application documents failed to demonstrate the proposed viewing platform was fit for purpose.

Withernsea's original pier in 1880

He told the council’s planning department: “As the proposed viewing which is intended for public use would be built on Withernsea’s main amenity beach the developer must demonstrate that over its life the structure will be safe and remain structurally stable in a coastal environment.”

Natural England also told the council insufficient information had been provided.

 Mr Watson insists many of the queries raised have now been answered and form part of the marine licence, which was granted by the Marine Management Organisation on Monday.

The viewing platform would be a visitor attraction (Image: 3xa Design, Robert Blundell)

If the viewing platform is approved by the council, an application would follow for the second stage, which would see the start of the pier.

Stage three would be the pier head and the final phase would be a two-storey renewable energy centre built at the end of the pier.

The resort’s grand 1,196ft-long 19th century pier was wrecked by vessels crashing into it, before it was finally removed in 1903.

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