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Building work to start on new lifeboat house

PUBLISHED: 16:23 31 August 2020 | UPDATED: 16:23 31 August 2020

Artist impression of new Lifeboat House at Wells. Picture: Studio Four architects

Artist impression of new Lifeboat House at Wells. Picture: Studio Four architects

Picture: Studio Four architects

Work is about to start on the building of an eagerly-awaited new lifeboat house along the north Norfolk coast.

The boathouse, which is being constructed in Wells, between Blakeney and Burnham Market, is expected to be completed in 2022.

And the new Wells Shannon Class lifeboat, which was part funded by a successful local campaign in 2014/15, will arrive in its new home shortly after.

The bigger boathouse is needed to house the Shannon Class lifeboat which will replace the now 30-year-old Mersey Class lifeboat, the “Doris M Mann of Ampthill”.

A spokesperson for the project said: “With the RNLI’s newest, purpose-built Shannon lifeboat, the rescue service provided by the volunteer crew at Wells will be using the best equipment available to make their job safer, faster and more effective.”

The Shannon is the latest class of all-weather lifeboat to join the RNLI fleet and is the first modern all-weather lifeboat to be propelled by waterjets instead of traditional propellers, making it the most agile and manoeuvrable.

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The lifeboats will exit the boathouse through the front doors and be taken up and over the sea defences on a purpose built ramp straight into the channel or, if the tide is out, will be towed on their carriages to a low water launch site in Holkham Bay.

The boathouse will be located beside the beach bank near the Beach Cafe and the coastwatch hut and will replace the old boathouse, parts of which are more than 100 years old.

The first phase of construction involves driving piles into the ground to form the foundations for the boathouse and ramps, building up the ground level with sand and dredged material supplied by the Port of Wells, and constructing the concrete floor slab.

The heavy construction work will take place between this September and May 2021. Erection of the timber frame building structure will then follow.

The RNLI and Wells Lifeboat Station will be working closely with the contractors, JT Mackley and Reside Construction, the Port of Wells and Holkham Estate to ensure that safe access to the beach and the car park is maintained for members of the public throughout the project.

Regular updates will posted on the Wells Lifeboat Station website, as well as being signposted at the beach car park, the Beach Cafe and Pinewoods.

To view the progress online, check the webcam images and progress reports at www.wellslifeboat.org/boathouse.


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