Felixstowe Pier rebuilding plans recommended for approval

Artist's impression of the new Felixstowe Pier
Image caption If given the go-ahead, the two-tiered pier could be open by Easter 2014

Planners are recommending that a 100-year-old Suffolk pier should be demolished and rebuilt.

The owners of Felixstowe Pier want to turn it into a multimillion-pound entertainment and conference venue with restaurants and retail units.

Officers at Suffolk Coastal District Council are recommending councillors approve planning permission next week.

Designer Haydn Evans said the new pier could be open by Easter 2014 if the plans are approved.

Stan Treadwell, the pier's owner, said: "It's great news it's being recommended for approval.

"It's our intention to proceed, but the devil is always in the detail in planning."

New promenade

The council said it had had nine letters of objection, including complaints from the South Hill Residents Association that the new pier would obscure the sea view, the extra height would mean it overlooks houses and it had the potential to create extra noise.

Seven letters of support were received saying it would boost tourism and trade and regenerate the existing pier and boating lake.

Officers are recommending that outline planning permission is granted to rebuild the existing promenade so that it would be level with the entrance to the new pier.

It is also proposed that a square or plaza is created at the entrance to the pier, which could be shared with the neighbouring leisure centre.

Part of the boating lake would be turned into car parking.

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