PLANS to carry out improvement work on Helensburgh's pier by installing steel beams in the structure have been approved.

Argyll and Bute Council planning officials have given the go-ahead to work which will see the beams put in place to support new glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) panels laid on the surface of the structure.

The pier has been closed to all marine traffic since October 2018 due to its deteriorating condition, and is not part of the town’s £22 million waterfront redevelopment project.

A delegated report by a council planning officer detailed the pier’s history and recommended that the plans were given the green light.

READ MORE: New plans lodged for repairs to Helensburgh pier

The planning officer said: “Presently waves are hitting the masonry pier and rising upwards at the timber pier entrance and damaging the deck.

“The purpose of these alterations are to allow wave pressure through more open gaps and reduce the chance of further damage.

“The new surface extends the full width of the pier and 2m in length, this section currently has damaged surfacing.”

The pier was given C listed status by Historic Environment Scotland in June 2019, three months after it was estimated that comprehensive repairs to the structure, to allow vessels such as the paddle steamer Waverley to continue to visit the town, could cost as much as £1m.

READ MORE: Helensburgh's pier is closed to all marine traffic on safety grounds

Also in June 2019, Argyll and Bute councillors agreed that the local authority should not pursue “high cost” options for the repair of the pier, though officials did decide that same month to allocate £85,000 towards pedestrian access enhancements.

The report added: “It is considered the proposed alterations are very minor and will preserve the building, its setting and the historic interest that it possesses as the GRP mesh boards will replace those already there, but will be less dense to allow more water to pass through them.

“Their visual appearance will not look out of place in this context as they are considered to be a typical waterfront walking surface and acceptable in terms of setting, scale, design and material."

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