NEW HOMES, FISH PROCESSING FACILITY AND RESTAURANT PLANNED FOR FORT VICTORIA – Island Echo

Major plans to breathe new life into the old wharf at Fort Victoria near Yarmouth have been unveiled.

Miles Blamire, acting as claimant to the Isle of Wight Council, wants to restore the redundant pier and build a processing facility, shop and shellfish and fish landing restaurant, as part of the Westhill development Beach.

Marked as a brownfield, the pier sits next to the Grade II listed Fort Victoria and was once used as part of the military operation there.

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The pier, its tramlines and ancillary structures were used to move, store and load sea mines but the site was partially dismantled after military use ceased.

In the mid 1980s it became part of a small boat building yard, but following the redevelopment of the area into a tourist destination in the late 1990s it remained untouched.

A heritage statement from West Sussex Archaeology, submitted as part of the planning documents, says the pier is considered to be of great significance as a surviving example of a late 19th century military installation. However, its importance is reduced, they say, due to partial demolition and its poor condition following considerable erosion.

The pier will be renovated, reusing the existing piles, becoming a public access space with commercial fishing and the “seafood fork restaurant”.

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Agents on behalf of Miles Blamire, BCM say the Westhill Beach development aims to reinvigorate and energize the historic landmark, providing a hub for education, tourism and economic growth.

The pier designs, according to BCM, will create a “little historic splurge”, embracing the beauty of the seascape and creating something of equal quality.

As part of Westhill Beach, 5x 4 bedroom homes are also offered on land opposite the pier which will part fund the commercial development. The houses would be built on suspended rafts, supported by new piles, creating a “clean, modern and composed sense of place and identity”.

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You can consult the plans, 22/00634/FUL, on the town planning register. Comments can be submitted until May 16.

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