PLANS have been submitted for repairs to Helensburgh’s pier, along with the installation of new barriers and benches.

Argyll and Bute Council has applied for planning permission to carry out work on the structure, which has been closed for more than a year on safety grounds because of concern over its deteriorating condition.

It was estimated in April that comprehensive work on the pier could cost up to £1million, while in July it was suggested that it could be included in plans for the new waterfront leisure centre.

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The operators of the paddle steamer Waverley announced earlier this year that the ship would be unable to berth at the pier during its summer cruising programme – although that announcement was later rendered academic after the Waverley’s entire 2019 schedule was cancelled when it was discovered she would need new boilers to sail again.

The work for which the council is now seeking planning permission would not change the situation regarding the Waverley’s ability to berth at Helensburgh, and the part of the pier which has been off limits for many years because of fire damage would remain so.

A decision on the proposed improvements, which would restore safe access for pedestrians, is expected from the council in early 2020, with the public currently able to submit comments.

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A council report said: “The scope of works is minor repairs of the existing timber pier and the supply and installation of removable pedestrian parapets and benches at Helensburgh Pier.

“The purpose of the works is to ensure safe access for pedestrians only, however the fire damaged portion of the structure would remain off limits, nor would the Waverley be permitted to berth.”

“Argyll and Bute Council is in the process of obtaining planning consent for the pier listed structure.”

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