PLANS for a “glorious” new heritage quay and pier have been welcomed as a major boost for a historic port town.

Plans have been submitted by Brightlingsea Town Council for the quay at Brightlingsea Hard, along with proposals for a new location for the ferry landing area.

The council has been working with Brightlingsea Harbour Commissioners on the plan to “preserve the past and complementing the natural beauty of the area”.

The scheme will create a community area and also gives a home to historic east coast barges.

The ferry landing area would be relocated to the south channel of Brightlingsea Creek, stretching towards Fisherman’s and St Osyth pontoons, to reduce disturbance to sandy spit, a vital habitat for birds.

A report said: “The heritage quay will provide a fantastic platform for events and activity for all to enjoy, whilst the heritage pier will bring the barges back to Brightlingsea, repeating our maritime history and providing a glorious backdrop.

“The project will return the eastern side of the hard to a traditional life that has been lost for decades.

“The spacious canopy-covered heritage quay area is designed to provide a tasteful room-to-move arena for a multitude of every day and special community events - everything from safe crabbing to education, sail training, an area for artists and photographers, relaxing, sightseeing, music, outdoor yoga, a tourist information point and a large seating and viewing area.”

“In front of this stretching into the harbour will be the heritage pier with space for three or more barges to lay alongside; providing a glorious sight not seen since the days east coast barges once traded and laid up in the harbour to refit and offload cargo.”

James Thomas, from Brightlingsea Harbourmasters Office, said: “It is about time the waterfront was refreshed and demonstrate that there is much more to Brightlingsea that meets the eye.

“This will bring much-needed revenue into the town. We need to celebrate the past, but not live in it.”

“The ferry landing will at last facilitate access to the town for those pushing prams or with mobility issues.”