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Architect Tim Sanderson shows designs to give Herne Bay pier new lease of life

By Aidan Barlow

An ambitious architect who grew up in Herne Bay has offered his take on how the pier could be given a fresh lease of life.

Tim Sanderson, 31, has put together these stunning designs, illustrating how fountains, beach huts and a high-class restaurant would give the landmark a new look.

It would also include a new pavilion with views of a landscaped community square.

Looking back towards the new pier pavilion. Image: Tim Sanderson

The former Simon Langton schoolboy – who is qualified with the Royal Institute of British Architects – is now working with the Herne Bay Pier Trust, which was impressed by his proposals.

Mr Sanderson said: “I’ve got strong memories of the old pier – it’s where I used to go skating when I was 11.

“I can see how for a small town it has been difficult to keep such a big structure.

“The ultimate goal is to connect the pier and rebuild it in stages, but that would cost tens of millions of pounds.

A bird's eye view of the structure. Image: Tim Sanderson
The walkway along the shop promenade. Image: Tim Sanderson
How the pier might look. Image: Tim Sanderson

“But with my scheme I look at what we already have as a blank canvas. It’s beginning to take on a life of its own, like it’s a public space already.

“So my designs would be the next step from the natural evolution of the pier.”

Mr Sanderson, of MSMR architects, has worked on projects including revamping docklands areas in London, but wants to give something back to the town where he grew up.

He added: “I had previously come up with thoughts about something really big and bombastic and imposing for a revamp, but during the recession people have become a bit more realistic.

“People have made it their own space. I think it would be great to put in a nice restaurant and large space out at sea, surrounded by lovely landscaping.

“It could be used for things like wedding parties, along with a public square.”

Architect Tim Sanderson, who grew up in Herne Bay

He explained his plans use herringbone timber, inspired by the original pier “which would hopefully make it all look like it has been there for a long time.”

Commenting on the designs, Pier Trust chairman Doreen Stone said: “We are now talking to Tim Sanderson and have asked him to join our team and he has accepted.

“Having a RIBA architect on board to give us the creative ideas and wow factor is what we have wanted for a year.

“All the trustees are impressed by the freshness and originality of his designs – the planters, the pavement fountains for children and adults, and the interweaving wave design for the beach hut units.

“His concepts are full of fun and potential enjoyment for all ages. That’s just what we wanted, a pier with style and a difference, as well as being aesthetically lovely.

“We are looking forward to working with Tim very much.”

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