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Jetty cost make affect seafront plans

PUBLISHED: 19:00 11 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:37 30 June 2010

Great Yarmouth jetty

Great Yarmouth jetty

THE cost of repairing Great Yarmouth jetty could complicate the re-development of the prime seafront site according to a leading councillor.

Charles Reynolds, who chairs the borough council's planning committee, told the Mercury this week it was one reason he favoured demolishing the structure.

THE cost of repairing Great Yarmouth jetty could complicate the re-development of the prime seafront site according to a leading councillor.

Charles Reynolds, who chairs the borough council's planning committee, told the Mercury this week it was one reason he favoured demolishing the structure. The jetty is at the centre of a council-owned section of the Golden Mile, including the Marina Centre earmarked for sale to a private developer.

However, Ormesby ward Conservative councillor Mr Reynolds believes potential purchasers should not have to take responsibility for restoring the jetty. A decision about its future was postponed last month because the structure may be listed by English Heritage.

The cost of restoring the jetty, Nelson's landing place after the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801, has been estimated at £350,000.

Mr Reynolds said: “One of the reasons we had for wanting to take the jetty down was that the site was going to be sold. If listed it might have to remain the responsibility of the borough council for the foreseeable future. There is not just the cost of restoration, but ongoing maintenance.

“Personally I would like to see the structure removed, it has no historical importance and has been rebuilt again and again over the years. It serves no purpose and I would like to see it gone and something else done to emphasise the historical importance of the site.

“Hopefully if the jetty is listed then grants will be available from English Heritage towards its restoration.”

Mr Reynolds revealed the Edwardian era toilets close to the jetty could also be listed, further complicating potential development plans.

A campaign to save the jetty spearheaded by Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society has won support from the Nelson Society and National Piers Association. Officials from English Heritage were due to inspect the jetty this week.

Mr Reynolds said although there was no “For Sale' sign on the site between the Marina and Sea Life Centre the council was “open to offers.”

He added: “We have had feedback from developers, but the recession has knocked any sale on the head. What happens next is in the hands of the market. My view is a year-round attraction is needed there, something that will put bums on seats and will really be enhanced by the beachside setting. The town needs both to enhance its visitor facilities and help existing businesses that are not having the easiest time.”

A judgment is expected from English Heritage in six to eight weeks. If turned down the council is likely to reconsider demolition in early autumn.

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