Western Promenade (Councillor V Chapman)

Here is my final MSR/CCC Report on the Western Promenade.

It hasn’t been possible to bring to fruition all the things that had been hoped for, but certainly many improvements and changes have been made.

Lakeside Caravan Park – Mr. Michael McCarthy took the lease over last year, and the toilet and shower blocks have been completely re-furbished, with a toilet for the disabled also being installed. Works to clear the outside have begun and will be completed, along with new paths and landscaping, in due course. The office area has been smartened up, and various other jobs done, which have taken longer than planned. However, the site should open this Easter weekend. The price per night is £25-00, and leaflets are being printed with information about the site and surrounding area.

Boating Lake – This is looking good, with plenty of wildlife on the water. The Model Boat Club continues to enjoy using the lake, and I joined them for an Evening Sail last week, when their lovely craft looked beautiful in the late sunshine. The Scouts side of the hut has now been painted, and the building has been enhanced by that. The Scouts are busy with rowing boat and canoe hire in good weather during the holidays. They have held a Pumpkin Competition for the last couple of years, but may have another type of event this year. I had hoped that illustrative boards about the flora and fauna would have been erected previously, but this work is in progress, and should be completed shortly.

Car Boot Sales, Food and Drink Festival, Fun Fair – All these events are held on the grass area between the lido and the grass park, and all are popular, especially if the weather is kind.

Beach Huts and Beach Hut Association – The beach huts make an attractive sight along the Prom., with many of them being painted in pastel colours. The BHA have a rota of volunteers who patrol the area on a regular and frequent basis, advising the Town Council of any damage or other problems. They very kindly helped to finance the CCTV cameras that the Council installed along the Prom a few years ago. These are now not working as efficiently as before, and the elements have taken their toll. For these reasons, together with advanced technology, we have sought quotes to install digital equipment, and hopefully at tonight’s meeting, one of these quotes will be accepted and a new, more efficient system will be installed very soon. At the request of the BHA, two posts have been installed at the Oyster Tank Road car park, as it appears the signage that was put up is sometimes ignored, meaning that the grass area is blocked by vehicles, making it impossible to use as an overflow car park. We hope this works now.

Toilets, Paddling Pool, and surrounding area – You will know that the toilet block has recently been completely re-furbished, with an outside shower being installed. This work has been something we have strived for, for many years, so it is very pleasing to see it done, and to such a high and attractive standard, and with BTC and TDC working together. The surrounding area is being enhanced, including moving the Seafront Warden’s Hut, and this will be completed shortly, giving a safe area from the beach to the shower area, which will be vehicle-free, and where grass has replaced concrete, with potted greenery by the toilets, to soften the area. The pool liner has still not been replaced, but remedial works have been undertaken by TDC over the years, the beach has been topped up, and beach clean and clear done, as well as the Seafront Warden sweeping around the edge of the pool. The sluice is closed on the 1st April, to retain the water, but as the pool is tidal, it is sometimes fuller than others and the elements sometimes produce more sand and seaweed around the area.

Pawson’s Playground – This is very popular with younger children and the Zip Wire is a fairly new feature. For those who do not know, the pictures that have been replicated on the sides of some of the equipment, were drawn by the pupils of the then Junior School. A safety check on all the equipment is undertaken on an annual basis by the company that is used by TDC. The open-air gym equipment is also used.

Petanque – This facility is still popular and being used by various groups. We have also been thinking about having an outdoor Table Tennis table and have received a suggestion for a Crazy Golf course.

Millennium Garden – As well as Petanque, which is situated in the left-hand corner, the garden offers picnic, play and rest areas.

Skate Park – This is a major project, as the skate ramps we have now, are beyond their use-by date. They have been repaired over the years, with sections being replaced. However, the time has come to completely replace, and the idea is to have a concrete bowl. I have written about this in the past, as we are seeking about £250,00 for this project. We have the hope of receiving S106 monies, and together with grants, we may achieve the goal, but anything you can do to help bring this about, would be much appreciated.

Bateman’s Café – As you will have seen, this has been demolished, and new two-storey café will be constructed as soon as the floating platform has been installed. The building itself will arrive in a pre-fabricated form, and should be erected quite quickly. The moving of overhead cabling to going underground, will now be done after the new building is in place. I am sure we are all looking forward to visiting the new premises as soon as it opens. It had also been hoped to have illustrative boards by the piece of SSSI land by Bateman’s Tower, but again, this is in hand and should be done quite soon.


Update on Batemans Café Construction

Please see below e-mail received from Stuart Hancock:-

“Dear Vivien,

With regard to our telephone call today please find below the latest update regarding construction at Batemans Cafe.

I spoke to the Builder from ecofloatinghomes today to gain insight into project timelines.

  1. This weekend signs on arris will be repositioned and opened up to 1m outside of plot area for construction.
  2. Contractor has been delayed due to illness. They are due to start next week 22nd April or earlier to dig out the dock.

The timeline I have been given for digging this out, setting out of the main building installing the hardwood jetty retaining timbers, ground anchors and fill the dock base with aggregate is 3-4 weeks. This takes us to around 6-13th May.

  1. The building modules are nearly completed ready for transportation and delivery to Brightlingsea from their various factories along with the floating hull sections. They are likely  take 5-7 days to connect together, the building will be clad and have its windows and doors fitted, plus everything else inside the building over a period of 4-6 weeks of construction. Which brings us to 10-17th June weather and site delays permitting.

It’s been a pleasure working with you Vivien, good luck for your future ventures and thank you so much for your support of my work.

Warmest regards

Stuart Hancock
RIBA BSc (Hons) Architecture

Hancock Architecture Ltd”


Additional report

I visited the Lakeside caravan park yesterday and met with Michael McCarthy who showed me around again, explaining how far the work has got and how much more still to be done.  There was a delay of six weeks with the delivery of the toilet cubicles, which put the work back for longer.  He is having a team of five working over the next few days to paint the exterior of the toilet/shower block, to do the final electrical and plumbing work, to tidy the office and  outside area, etc.  The super hook-ups for water, electricity and tv socket, will be done ready for the next season, as will the laundry room, the office, the landscaping of the grounds, a new road where the pot-holed track is at the moment, all of which is probably going to cost in the region of £250,000.  Leaflets should be ready by Thursday, and I have asked Michael to take some in to the office.  He is going to liaise with the groups, such as MBC, Scouts, Sailing Club, etc., to help promote the facilities they have to offer.

Sailing Club – The present Commodore, Fiona Brown, will be retiring at their AGM on Easter Monday.  I have been invited to the post-AGM reception. I looked at the posts mentioned in previous report, and they, along with the very clear sign that was put up some time ago, make it perfectly clear that the entrance to the overflow car park is there.

The Scouts were at the lake and had a few people out on the water during the morning, and would probably be busier in the afternoon.  As well as the canoes and rowing boats, they have five pedalos, and a large pedalo, which was given to them after a request on Facebook.  It was also delivered to them free of charge, with a message to say it was on it’s way.  It took seven people to carry it from the truck to the water, and it stays on the water, as it is far too heavy to move.

The gabions are in place in the car park, along with two very impressive olive trees in huge tubs.  The area to the side of the toilets has been grass-seeded, and I believe the Warden’s Hut will be moved there in due course.  The workmen were still there yesterday, with a view to clearing away by the weekend.  The burger van is now situated near the toilet block.

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Site designed and maintained by Big Red Web Design. Webmaster.