BOSSES at Clacton Pier have been given the go-ahead to start repairing a damaged section of the historic seaside attraction.

In February this year, a small part of the landmark’s ride deck disappeared into the sea following horrendous storms which battered the coastline.

The area had been reserved for the installation of a new rollercoaster, and the collapse occurred as structural refurbishment works were being carried out.

Following the completion of a clean-up operation, pier director Billy Ball was eager to start the repair works as soon as possible.

The reconstruction, however, was subsequently delayed due to certain permissions being required, which Mr Ball feared could impact negatively on the business.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

But nine months on and the Marine Management Organisation is now finally allowing pier bosses to start repairing the damaged ride deck.

As soon as the pier’s insurer, Aviva, settle a claim made in response to the damage, piling works will begin to be carried out.

Pier director Billy Ball said it has been a frustrating wait but is confident that the claim can soon be settled, and the attraction can start to be repaired.

“Although the money has not yet come in, we decided to take action and begin the formal steps needed to begin the reconstruction,” he said.

“We are working with our consultants to come up with a design solution and this has progressed significantly.

“As of Friday, we have the marine licence in place which was an integral part of the process.

“The protracted discussions with our insurers continue but we are hopeful that once we provide them with the evidence from the experts, the talks should be successful.”

Shortly after the shocking collapse in February, Clacton MP Giles Watling paid a visit to the pier and pledged his support to both Mr Ball and his brother, director Elliot.

Mr Watling recognised the need for the Marine Management Organisation to grant the marine licence quickly and vowed to put pressure on the Government body.

He has since called on Government departments such as the MMO to work quicker and more efficiently when it comes to making decisions such as this one.

He said: “It would be a very positive step if organisations like the MMO could streamline their decision-making process.

“Especially in these difficult times when commercial operations need all the help they can get.”