Warm response to foreshore plans

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AMBITIOUS plans to breathe new life into Skegness Foreshore have been met with an enthusiastic though cautionary response from Skegness Town Councillors.

Chief executive at East Lindsey District Council, Nigel Howells, presented the initial suggestions for the ‘Foreshore Masterplan’ at a Skegness Town Council meeting on Wednesday.

Mr Howells explained the need to attract new visitors and to push Skegness as a major attraction, and hopes that an improved Foreshore could achieve that purpose.

However he was keen to stress that the present proposals were very much in their infancy and would be further developed in consultation with local partners, including the town council.

He said: “The aim was to get some views from experts about how we might make the best of the Foreshore and understand its strengths and weaknesses to help inform the whole planning policy.

“This is the start of thinking about what we might do with the Foreshore, not the end.”

The blueprint for future development, as it stands, had been instigated by consultants from London based firm Roger Tym & Partnership at a cost of £20,000.

Its recommendation is to zone the Foreshore into different sections with their own particular focus, ranging from leisure, through to action sports and culture.

The purpose of such zoning is to establish a more coherent feel for the area and make it more alluring for prospective developers.

Councillors at the meeting were understanding of the need to reinvigorate the Foreshore and supportive of the district council’s desire to do so. Coun Dick Edgington said: “I think if we get this right it’s going to set Skegness up for the 21st Century. The Foreshore have been largely unchanged since the 1930s - it has stood the test of time so far but is showing some signs of wear and tear and some developing is long overdue.”

However other councillors were unsure as to whether anything would come of it following previous grand plans for the Foreshore that went unrealised. Coun Saxon said: “It’s like deja vu, we had another master plan which cost £30,000 two years ago and this has cost £20,000 to come up with the same stuff apart from there’s no casino. “

Other concerns were expressed about whether the Environment Agency’s restrictions on development in possible flood risk areas would hamper the plans.