Plans for the construction of a new bridge between the East Pier and extension have been unanimously approved by the council, but questions remain over funding for the project.
The previous footbridge was removed in 2001 and since that time the East Pier extension has been inaccessible to pedestrians.
The estimated cost of the project is in the region of £300,000 to £350,000. The council’s economic development team has previously submitted a bid to the Marine Management Organisation to fund the project. But plans cannot progress further until the outcome of the bid is known, which is expected to be within the next six months.
Reinstatement of the bridge would improve access to the pier extension for repairs and maintenance by council harbour staff.
Current access is by boat only and is not without its risks.
A new bridge would also enable some public access, allowing greater appreciation of the listed structure, as well as impressive views.
Cllr Joe Plant, cabinet member for transformation said: “I am acutely aware that this is a project which the local community would love to see come to fruition and it has my full support.
“I welcome the granting of listed building consent and the continuing efforts of the officers involved in trying to make it happen. However, I am also mindful that the plans are still subject to obtaining the necessary funding. Along with my fellow Cabinet Members, we will keep a close eye on the process and await the funding decision due later this year.”
Cllr David Chance described the decision as “excellent news.”
People were welcoming of the news on Facebook. Here are some of your comments: Ben Fewkes: “About time, it’ll look lovely when it’s done.”
Glenn Arthur Taylor: “As a regular visitor to Whitby it is about time. SBC should be ashamed of themselves.”
Carl Wetton: “17 years to install a bridge...ridiculous! I remember the year it collapsed and people have been calling for this bridge ever since. SBC need to get their act together.”