Dover District Council 11 August 2015
DHB PLANNING APPLICATION DOV/15/00627
Removal of furniture along the Prince of Wales Pier followed by reduction in height of 2.4m to the 1970s constructed sheet pile section at the landward end of the pier.
The Dover Society response takes into account a meeting with the DHB Western Docks Revival Project Team which established what was involved, the need, the implications (particularly for the community) and the eventual appearance viz:
1 This (sheet piled) section of the pier was only built in the 1970s as part of the Hoverport construction. It replaced the original, lower iron supported structure which still exists buried in the Hoverport apron.
2 The whole pier and its furniture was listed Grade II in 1975, despite this the landward section was buried and the street furniture installed on the new and higher sheet piled section.
3 The street furniture to be removed as part of this application as stated would be reinstalled somewhere appropriate in the new development and/or offered to the Museum.
4 It is necessary to lower the height (the same as the remainder of the pier) as it will be incorporated in the cargo terminal development with most of the seaward section. A small section of the original pier with its lighthouse will be visible and preserved (but no public access).
5 Whilst public access to the original pier will be lost, it will be replaced by public access to the whole length of the new ‘marina curve’ walkway forming the boundary to the development and overlooking the proposed marina in the outer harbour. Public access is also proposed on the new pier forming the eastern boundary of the new marina.
6 The marina curve will be sheet piled but cosmetically dressed, making it far more attractive than the present sheet piling of the PoW Pier both for marina users and seafront visitors.
7 Retail outlets, restaurants etc are hoped for on the marina curve with fine views of the harbour and castle.
8 Whilst views of cruise ships berthed on Admiralty Pier will be restricted, there is a possibility of an observation platform associated with the resited lifeboat building. In addition port of call ships may berth at one of the cargo berths.
9 The development will be phased. Phase 1 will be the construction of the cargo terminal and the marina curve meaning that public access to a pier will be restored at the earliest possible time. Phase 2 will be the construction of the new marina and marina pier to allow the filling-in of Granville Dock and the Tidal Basin which will allow construction of Phase 3 – cargo logistics centre.
10 The development of the marina, logistics centre and commercial outlets on the marina curve will be dependent upon interest/demand from investors – DHB will only be providing the opportunity.
11 Any buildings on the marina curve (and around the Wellington Dock) will require full planning permission and the Dover Society has already sought that quality design and materials are of paramount importance.
12 A new access road is proposed between the cargo terminal and the logistics centre which will allow cruise passengers to access the seafront and town more easily.
The disadvantages appear to be:
1 The traditional view of the Prince of Wales Pier will be lost as will the opportunity for the public to walk to the end of the present pier and view cruise ships etc. We can press for an observation platform to see cruise ships.
2 Whilst the overall masterplan is very attractive, the only part that DHB can guarantee providing at present without attracting investors (for marina, logistics centre and commercial/retail outlets) is the new cargo terminal including the marina curve with public access.
The advantages appear to be:
1 The enabling works are essential for the overall development with its potential for releasing much needed space at the Eastern Docks and the potential for increased job opportunities at WDR contributing to regeneration.
2 The marina curve finishing should be a significant improvement on the present ugly sheet piling.
3 Public access, although different, will be restored (and if marina east pier is built will be more in overall length than currently offered on the Prince of Wales pier albeit in two separate sections).
4 The marina curve will be part of Phase 1 and therefore guaranteed as part of these enabling works with public access at the earliest opportunity in the development.
5 Our concerns about the quality of buildings, particularly on the marina curve can be made forcefully as and when full planning permission is sought in the future.
Society view on application
Whilst we regret the inevitable loss of the traditional view and use of the Prince of Wales Pier, we recognise the importance of the Western Docks Revival project to the continued success of the port and its potential for the regeneration of Dover. Whilst we cannot be certain about the completion of the whole masterplan as currently envisaged, we feel that the advantages deriving from the enabling works and the completion of at least Phase1outweigh the disadvantages for the community. However, with one of the cargo berths being multi-functional (cruise ships and cargo), we feel that with more detailed planning public access to the end of Prince of Wales Pier could be made possible when the berth is not in use.
Therefore, in conclusion,The Dover Society could only support this application conditional upon: