Pier plans get go-ahead

PUBLISHED: 09:57 08 April 2011 | UPDATED: 12:13 08 April 2011

Clevedon Pier

Clevedon Pier

Archant

PLANS to create new, modern visitor facilities at Clevedon Pier have been given the go ahead and now efforts begin to raise the £1million needed for the project.

The new facilities planned for Clevedon Pier alongside the proposals to redevelop the Royal Pier Hotel

Members of North Somerset Council’s north area planning committee approved the proposals on Thursday with a clear majority.

The scheme will see a glass structure created at the land end of the Grade I-listed Victorian pier to include a tea room, toilets and education facilities.

The two-storey creation will see the lower floor level located below the surface of the current ramp.

On the lower floor, there will be an education and general purpose room, toilets and a preparation room. A spiral staircase will then lead to the ground floor tea room and an upper deck viewing area.

The configuration of the current Toll House will also be altered.

The news of the plans’ approval has brought joy to many supporters of the pier.

Pier trust chairman Simon Talbot-Ponsonby said: “We are all very excited. This is a major project for the trust for which we will be applying for grants.

“In addition we will be launching an appeal to the public who love, support and greatly appreciate the UK’s only Grade I-listed pier.

“If all goes according to plan we hope to start work in the spring of 2012.”

The new facilities have been designed by O’Leary Goss architects, the company that designed the redevelopment of the neighbouring Grade II-listed Royal Pier Hotel.

As part of the hotel development, its owners Freemantle Developments has agreed to carry out the underground works needed for the pier facilities.

Pier manager Linda Strong said: “I am delighted these plans have been approved. This will provide some much-needed facilities for the visitors and a learning area for schoolchildren who come to the pier.

“This will raise additional funds to guarantee the long-term maintenance of the pier.”

The pier trust has now launched an appeal to raise the money needed and also intends to apply to organisations such as English Heritage for funding.

A fund-raising song, entitled On the Pier has also been devised by the band Dr Jazz.

At Thursday’s committee meeting, some concerns were raised about the modern design of the new facilities but most members agreed they were needed to secure the future of the structure.

The money generated from the new facilities will be used to pay for the ongoing maintenance of the pier, which North Somerset Council currently pays for.

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