Giles Watling MP has offered his support to help Clacton Pier overcome potential construction delays in rebuilding its partially collapsed ride deck, as the pier prepares to reopen its outdoor rides this weekend.
The MP for Clacton has lent his support to the Clacton Pier repair effort, following the partial collapse of the landmark’s ride deck on Valentine’s Day, amid growing concerns that the restoration project could be more difficult than initially hoped.
Giles Watling met with pier director Billy Ball last weekend in order to inspect the damage caused by Storm Ciara, pledging his help to overcome any permission challenges that could slow down the works.
“I am quite prepared to have talks with those involved in this process to try to ensure that there are no unnecessary delays,” said Watling. “We do not want another situation like the West Pier at Brighton, and Clacton Pier’s directors really need to get on with the programme of repairs as soon as possible.”
“The pier is one of Clacton’s most important employers and is crucial to the holiday industry of both the town and wider Tendring district. We must not let this situation drag on and I will do whatever I can to help.”
Following the collapse, and the immediate damage limitation effort from staff that saw 50 percent of debris removed within 24 hours, the pier was visited by the Marine Management Organisation in order to discuss the way forward.
The governmental body licences, regulates and plans marine activity in British waters, with any shoreline access to the pier by construction teams subject to official approval.
“We have discovered that carrying out the repairs may not be quite as straightforward as we initially anticipated in terms of permissions and that is all being looked into,” said Ball.
“We need to get these matters resolved and any help Giles can give us to move things forward will be greatly appreciated. We were delighted when he agreed to come down and meet us – and we had very positive discussions.”
Though Ball added there is no exact date or final budget for the work, a number of outside rides – including Twister, Paratrooper, Bumper Boats and Scalextric – will reopen on 29 February, alongside fishing access for pass holders. “As always we will strive to keep our customers updated as the situation progresses.”