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Page last updated at 15:16 GMT, Wednesday, 19 January 2011
Great Yarmouth Jetty demolition agreed by council
The Jetty at Great Yarmouth
The Jetty is due to be pulled down before the summer season starts

A seafront jetty where a victorious Nelson landed after the Battle of Copenhagen is to be demolished.

The fate of Great Yarmouth's jetty - first built 450 years ago - was decided at a meeting by the borough council's development control committee.

The rotting pier was going to cost £300,000 to repair and a drive by a local society couldn't raise the funds.

Committee chairman Charles Reynolds said: "We had to make a very sad decision about pulling it down."

Great Yarmouth and District Local History and Archaeological Society (GYDLHAS) held meetings to try to save the timber structure, but the final blow came when English Heritage said it wasn't worth listing as its experts believed it had been rebuilt several times.

Difficult decision

Committee members voted by eight votes to two to pull down the small pier when they met on 18 January 2011.

"After English Heritage decided not to list the building, they'd be no funding available," said Cllr Reynolds.

"Quite frankly the council hasn't got that sort of money, it's equivalent to a 10% tax increase.

"Regretfully, you have to make very difficult decisions sometimes and this is one of them. I don't think anyone was happy last night in voting for the demolition," he added.

Public closure

The jetty was closed to the public two years ago because of its decaying timbers and loose cladding, but local historians had hoped the landmark would remain as a mark of the town's maritime heritage.

Acting president of GYDLHAS Andrew Fakes said: "It is a reminder of the importance of Yarmouth as a naval and maritime town over the years. Nelson landed here.

"Yarmouth harbour was not always available as it was quite often blocked up and you couldn't get the enormous warships into the town."

It is expected that the jetty will be knocked down before the resort's summer season starts, and it is hoped a monument to the pier will be in place within a year of its demolition. A 31-metre stretch of concrete will be kept at the site of the jetty.

"We want to put a really nice feature there so visitors and locals will know what's been going on there," said Cllr Reynolds.

"We've always argued that the structure is probably not the important part, but the site is important and that's got to be properly recognised."

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