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Future of Beccles Quay sealed as transfer to town council nears completion

PUBLISHED: 10:48 20 October 2017 | UPDATED: 10:49 20 October 2017

Beccles Town Council is set to take over the quay from Waveney District Council. Pictured is town councillors Maureen Haynes, Richard Stubbings, Norman Brooks and Graham Catchpole at the site. 
Picture: Nick Butcher.

Beccles Town Council is set to take over the quay from Waveney District Council. Pictured is town councillors Maureen Haynes, Richard Stubbings, Norman Brooks and Graham Catchpole at the site. Picture: Nick Butcher.

Archant © 2017

A quay area of Beccles is set to be transferred into the hands of its town council.

Following negotiations with Waveney District Council - the current owners of Beccles Quay - it has been decided that the asset will be handed over to Beccles Town Council.

With this, the town council will become responsible for the running, upkeep and use of the quay, which is used for a number of functions over the year, including the annual duck race and the Harvest Moon Music Festival.

While an exact timescale of the transfer remains undecided, the agreement is in place, with mayor of Beccles Richard Stubbings saying he is hopeful of the deal being completed by April next year.

Mr Stubbings said: “There are a number of things that have to be resolved and often these things do seem to take an eternity, but our target is to have the transfer done by the end of the financial year.

“We have a number of ideas for ways it can be used but it is too early to say exactly what at this stage.”

It follows the completion of the town council’s takeover of Blyburgate Hall and the adjoining car park and former ambulance station, which was settled last month.

Mr Stubbings added: “We are pleased it will be under our control as it will mean that as a town we will be in control of our own destiny.

“There are a lot of things now to be determined and one thing we have to do is properly survey the site, what can be done with it and how.”

In June, Waveney District Council commenced a £1m project to improve and promote the quay, which saw work started on the pathways surrounding it, which had become decayed and corroded.

The council had already spent £30,000 on the steel reinforced concrete for the path and were looking at further ways to improve the area, with district and town councillor Graham Catchpole saying the project could cost “up to £1.2m”.

Mr Catchpole said: “At a very productive meeting between representatives of Beccles Town Council and Waveney District Council, both parties agreed to work together to transfer the custodianship of Beccles Quay into local control and to develop an approach that would help safeguard the future maintenance and operation of this important local facility.”

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