Snag delays jetty demolition plan

THE demolition of Great Yarmouth’s jetty has hit a snag over a “misunderstanding” between the council that wants to knock it down and its own conservation department.

Contractors are primed and ready to get to work on the eight week effort to dismantle the structure, said to be Nelson’s landing place following the Battle of Nile, and the subject of a tenacious bid to save it. But confusion over what kind of monument will mark the site and interpret its historical significance has led to delay and head-scratching over how the confusion arose.

Conservation officer Darren Barker told the Mercury the aim was to re-use some of the timbers to create a truncated structure that would follow the jetty’s original line out to sea. But this week deputy leader Charles Reynolds said the intention all along was to remove the whole thing, including the piling, leaving only the concrete element.

He said: “Contractors were hoping to start next week but because of this misunderstanding it has been put back a few weeks. The schedule is for it to take about eight weeks.

“There has been some confusion about what the memorial was going to be and it certainly wasn’t going to be a mini-jetty that would need maintaining.

“The planning permission is to take the whole lot down up to the concrete and then within six to 12 months we want to put up a suitable memorial. Then there appeared to be a plan to put a walkway down to the beach which had no planning permission and I did not know where it came from. It was not what we had envisaged. The whole idea is pulling the whole lot down to save the taxpayer continued maintenance costs.”

Mr Reynolds said the original estimate of around �88,000 had included the rebuild of the small section and that relinquishing that element represented a substantial saving of more than �20,000.

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Instead a marble memorial is planned, using material left over from the InteGreat project.

Margaret Gooch, a director of the Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust, which tried to save the jetty said she was “very disappointed” that memorial plans had been trimmed back and that not even a small section was being reclaimed adding: “This is what we feared in the first place.

“There does seem to have been a determination to get rid of the jetty. There simply was not the money.”