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Herne Bay Pier cost 'plucked out of sky'

Herne Bay Pier bosses have been accused of “living in a dream world” after revealing £5m plans to extend the landmark beyond Neptune’s Arm.

Town centre councillor Andrew Cook told KentOnline two weeks ago about hopes of receiving financial backing to build another platform, which could house a music venue or restaurant.

He said bids for the grant funding would be submitted over the next two years.

Multi-million-pound plans to extend Herne Bay Pier were revealed by bosses last week
Multi-million-pound plans to extend Herne Bay Pier were revealed by bosses last week

But outspoken former pier trust member Andy Newell believes the proposals are pie in the sky.

“I don’t know where they dig these figures from, but I think they’re living in a dream world,” he said.

“It would cost a lot more than £5m to do what they’re talking about. The last time I asked an engineer who builds piers about the money needed for the materials and crane, he suggested it would cost £300,000 per metre.”

Trust chairman Doreen Stone has met with engineers from Canterbury City Council to discuss the viability of an extension.

She will also hold meetings with the trusts of other piers across the country to talk about the plans.

Andy Newell believes the proposals are pie in the sky
Andy Newell believes the proposals are pie in the sky

“This won’t come cheap,” Mr Newell continued.

“The trust just hasn’t looked at it properly. It’s plucked the figures out of the sky as far as I’m concerned.”

However, Cllr Cook, who is a member of the pier trust, says the figures are estimates based on discussions with engineers.

“We’re not at the stage where we can confirm exactly how much it’s going to be, but we’re just giving people a clue,” he added.

“The costs are from previous discussions we’ve had with experts – these are educated estimations from people who would know.”

Cllr Andrew Cook hopes to receive financial backing to build another platform on the pier
Cllr Andrew Cook hopes to receive financial backing to build another platform on the pier

Cllr Cook also said a fortnight ago that plans to extend the pier to its abandoned head have been shelved.

And Mr Newell fears the landmark will never be restored to its former glory.

“As time goes by, the cost will keep going up through inflation,” he said.

“Unless they can get the full amount from the government, the extension to the head will never happen.”

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