Floating restaurant could be in King’s Lynn by the end of June

A floating restaurant will soon be moored in the Purfleet. Picture: Ian Burt

A floating restaurant will soon be moored in the Purfleet. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

A floating restaurant could come sailing into King's Lynn within weeks.

West Norfolk councillors today agreed to sink mooring pilings into the Outer Purfleet and have tables and chairs beside the historic dock next to the Custom House.

The work will create a berth for a 150ft sailing ship, which operate as a bar and restaurant.

Stoke Ferry-based businessman Roger Clarke-Payton has been in talks with West Norfolk council for two years about bringing the vessel to Lynn.

After the meeting, he said: 'Now I have the consent, we have to get the investors to commit to their pledges. Hopefully that will take a week.

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'When the money is in the account, I'll be able to go to Holland to oversee the purchase.'

Mr Clarke-Payton said the ship - currently named the Willem Barrentsz and based in Holland - would need to go into dry dock to be inspected. He added he expected her to arrive in Lynn by the middle to end of June.

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The vessel, built in 1931, will moor in the middle of the Purfleet. Councillors today heard that the new attraction would help revitalise Lynn's waterfront.

As well as seating on board, the ship will also serve tables and chairs on the quayside and what is currently a raised performance area.

There have been concerns regarding the size of the vessel and the potential for people living around Common Staithe Square to suffer from noise nuisance.

But council regeneration manager Jemma Curtis told councillors on the planning committee the ship would create a feature on the quayside, increase the use of an under used area and was not intended to be a late-night drinking establishment.

Councillor Avril Wright said the riverside frontage needed to be revitalised.

Committee chairman Vivienne Spikings said: 'If it takes off like the one at Wells it will be a big asset.'

A floating bar and restaurant on board a former Dutch sailing barge is one of the focal points of the picturesque harbour at Wells.

The three-masted Willem Barentsz, which will be renamed the Merchant Adventurer, was converted into a luxury vessel for day trips in 1988. She can currently accommodate 100 people on board.

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