Felixstowe Pier renovation plans unveiled

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

A historic Suffolk pier could be turned into a venue for entertainment events, weddings and conferences.

Plans for Felixstowe Pier, which was built in the early 1900s, also include an observation tower, retail units and a restaurant.

Designer Haydn Evans said the new-look pier could be open by Easter 2014 if Suffolk Coastal District Council approves the plans.

"It's going to be much more than just a family amusement centre," he said.

The pier, owned by Pier Amusements, currently houses an amusement centre.

Mr Evans, who is leading the project for Haydn Evans Consulting in Ipswich, said the design incorporated an outdoor promenade, but he would not say how much the project would cost.

The existing boardwalk has been closed to the public for several years.

Image caption The boardwalk at the existing pier is closed to the public for safety reasons

"It was partially blown up during the Second World War to stop the Germans using it and then further reduced in the 50s," said Mr Evans.

"Unfortunately the concrete piles are fatally corroded and the timber beams supporting the existing deck are also rotten.

"The new pier is being built out further to sea, it will be possible for people to walk out over the sea and look back towards Felixstowe."

Conservative councillor Geoff Holdcroft, cabinet member for leisure, said it was a "bold and imaginative proposal".

"If it could be turned into reality [it] could be a really exciting new attraction for Felixstowe," he said.

He said the official consultation period had begun and the council would seek the views of the public and "relevant official bodies".

The plans also propose that the area in front of the pier is "remodelled".

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