Pier flats plan gets go-ahead

Controversial plans to build luxury holiday flats on a famous East Anglian landmark have been approved. Ten two-bedroom apart-ments will be built on the upper floor of Southwold pier with roof-top terraces, balconies and en-suite bathrooms.

Controversial plans to build luxury holiday flats on a famous East Anglian landmark have been approved.

Ten two-bedroom apart-ments will be built on the upper floor of Southwold pier with roof-top terraces, balconies and en-suite bathrooms.

And the existing function room will be extended and refurbished.

Pier owner Stephen Bourne was relieved that plans have been given the go-ahead at the third attempt. He said: "These proposals will bring new vitality to the pier and will be, I believe, a unique feature along Britain's coastline.

"Our next aim is to work with the council and its emergency planning team to devise a robust flood-risk operational strategy which will allow the development to proceed on a viable footing, while providing safe accommodation for the lifespan of the building."

The project has been redesigned after planners raised concerns over flood risks.

Most Read

The Environment Agency considered the revised plans and said that the building will be safe and occupants will be able to escape if the area floods.

Tom Woolley, head of planning at Waveney District Council, recommended that the flats should only be occupied from April to October to reduce any flood risks, but the council's planning committee gave the go-ahead to year-round occupancy on Wednesday night.

Roger Gilles, architect for the project, said: "The kind of weather conditions which would render the pier unsafe would be very extreme indeed and there would be warning of it. We will approach the town's coastal defence team and agree on an evacuation procedure which would be foolproof."

Southwold councillor Sue Allen said: "The pier is a valuable tourist attraction and important to the whole of Waveney. I want it to look nice."

The building work will complement the Art Deco style of the existing pier building, while providing modern facilities inside.

Local residents objected to previous plans because of the loss of the existing function room but the new plans will extend the space to 1,675 sq ft with modern kitchen and preparation facilities.

The Theatres Trust, which objected to the original plans, said the new venue would "provide a more usable multi-purpose venue reaching out to the wider community".