PLANS have been submitted as part of a major overhaul of Walton Pier.

Owner Russell Bolesworth has applied to Tendring Council for proposed minor external alteration, including construction of a new rear extension.

The blueprints show there could be new illuminated signage, new security shutters, as well as new cladding to the structure.

It also shows the existing nine ten-pin bowling lanes could be replaced with adventure golf and that a new six-lane bowling area would be built, alongside escape rooms, a children's soft play area and a new food and drink area.

Mr Bolesworth purchased the site in 2016 and promised to turn the ageing jewel into a top tourist destination.

He previously told the Gazette the popular seaside attraction is set to undergo a "significant" investment in time for the summer season.

Last year residents called on the owner to restore the coastal landmark to its glory days after a photograph published online showed a section of roof with holes on the side.

Mr Bolesworth, who subsequently fixed the roof, had cited a struggling economy, the pandemic, and credit restrictions caused by Brexit as the reason for the previous lack of investment.

He added that the works will cost a "significant sum" and will be a "substantial investment".

A report by the applicant said: "The proposal is for minor external alterations, including construction of a new rear extension as part of a major refurbishment and improvement of the existing business to ensure its long term success and sustainability.

"The proposal has been developed through research of the site's history and that of the local area.

"The alterations and extension have been sensitively designed to preserve the appearance and setting of the original host building and the Frinton and Walton Conservation Area.

"The proposal is highly sustainable and efficient use of the land."

The report added that previously granted plans to extend the front of the building will no longer go ahead.

Walton Pier was originally built in the 1870s, but was rebuilt to its present length of 2,600ft in 1898 to allow steamers to berth at all tides.

Mr Bolesworth could not be contacted for comment.