PLANS for a new heritage pier at a historic port town have been given the green light.

Brightlingsea Town Council submitted blueprints for the new jetty at Brightlingsea Hard after working with Brightlingsea Harbour Commissioners on the £100,000 plan, which has been mooted as a boost for the town's economy.

It added that the scheme would “preserve the past and complementing the natural beauty of the area”.

Town mayor Graham Steady welcomed the decision by Tendring Council planners to approved the first phase of the scheme, which includes the jetty.

It is hoped that future applications will be made for a new ferry landing area and a heritage quay.

Mr Steady said: "This is a town council initiative and we view it as an opportunity to regenerate the area, along with other parts of the waterfront.

"This scheme will improve the area and act as a visitor attraction.

"We are talking with other stakeholders and the wharf to do something with them as well along with things along the front.

"The Lido is being revamped along with other areas.

"It is quite an expensive project and we are in discussions with Tendring Council to work in partnership with them.

"We have big plans for regeneration, but it is quite a moveable feast.

"This is very much the beginning of the regeneration of the whole area."

Approval of the plan for the jetty paves the way for a future application for the heritage quay, which will provide a platform for events.

The £100,000 project includes £75,000 of grant money from the European Union, subject to conditions, along with a £25,000 contribution from the town council.

Preparatory work on scheme has already started on the jetty.