Plans for a Heritage Quay at Brightlingsea Hard and a new landing stage on Point Clear for the Brightlingsea ferry will be discussed by the town council at a meeting of its planning committee tonight (February 11).
The plans – which have been drawn up by the council and and are supported by Brightlingsea Harbour Commissioners – envisage a multi-purpose quay extending out over the east side of the Hard and a wheelchair-accessible jetty built out to the low water mark across the creek, replacing the current ferry pickup point on St Osyth Stone.
On the planning application – submitted by town councillor John Carr on behalf of the town council – the Heritage Quay is said to be "designed to host a multitude of everyday as well as special community events", including safe crabbing, with an adjoining Heritage Pier providing enough space for "three or more barges to lay alongside".
The plans for the landing stage show a purpose-built walkway running across the marsh opposite Brightlingsea Hard and ending on pontoons in the creek so that the ferry can be used at all states of the tide and in stronger winds. The ferry – which is operated by Brightlingsea Harbour Commissioners – is popular with residents and holidaymakers but the current beach access is unsuitable for wheelchair users and difficult to cross for those with prams or bikes.
According to the council, the two developments will help provide "a resilient heritage and tourist eco-system aimed at curbing the economic impacts of Covid-19" while "supporting the local economy and vastly improving visitor accessibility and experience".
Brightlingsea Town Council can only recommend applications for approval or refusal. The final say on whether the proposals can go ahead or not will be made at a future meeting of Tendring Council's planning committee. The application, together with supporting documents, can be seen on the district council's website, where there is also a facility for the public to comment. The agenda for tonight's town council meeting can be found here.
(Edited to remove a reference to a coastal cycle path which gave the impression that there is a formal route in existence)