Revised plans for a proposed quay on Brightlingsea Hard have been drawn up by Brightlingsea Town Council following objections by Essex County Council.
The original scheme for a raised deck area – now dubbed the Heritage Community Quay – in front of the Colne Yacht Club came in for criticism for blocking the view from the flats in the Grade II listed former Anchor Hotel and for not including an archaeological survey of the area.
As a result of the objections, the town council's technical group has now revised the shape of the deck so that it doesn't extend any further than the western wall of the Colne Yacht Club, though it will now project 15m further out from the edge of the Hard. The original plans were for a deck 40m wide by 25m deep, whereas the revised plan shows a construction that will be 35m wide by 40m deep, making the new version 400 sq m bigger. An archaeological survey has now been completed and delivered to the town council.
An artist's impression of what the Heritage Quay could look like
In minutes from the last full town council meeting, the technical group states: "We feel that this change in shape and size fulfils the ECC heritage objection." It also admits as that the original artist's impressions of the plan – seen here – "gave much confusion the group felt that only block and elevation plans should be used in any consultation".
The aim of the project is to provide a community space that can be used for various events, with the provision of a jetty for mooring traditional barges and smacks. Funding for the deck area has not yet been secured – although the group says that "two heritage funding opportunities were identified as suitable for application". As part of the project, a floating jetty extending from the Hard has been installed over the summer at a cost of around £75,000 – including a £25,000 contribution from Brightlingsea Town Council.
Once the funding for the deck has been secured, it's planned that the jetty – which can currently only be used by commercial fishing and angling boats – will be dismantled and placed on the seaward side of the deck. In August the council issued a statement refuting suggestions that the scheme was a "vanity project" and a "waste of money".