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A Gravesend pontoon with a view? All comments welcome.

PUBLISHED: 10:12 27 January 2011

Pontoon plan

Pontoon plan

Archant

An artist's impression of a £2.1million Thames pontoon has been released following fears the structure will ruin views of the river.

Mike Snelling, leader of Gravesham Borough Council, is championing the project to build the pontoon off the Victorian Pier, the oldest cast iron pier in the world.

But last week we revealed concerns about the scheme prompting officers to release an image of how the pontoon would look.

Councillor Snelling said: “The construction of a pontoon at the end of our historic town pier is key to the development of the riverside which was why I am so keen to proceed.

“The artist’s impression clearly allays the fears by those who thought it would obstruct the view of the river. The way it is built and its distance from the shore means it is more likely to enhance the riverscape and hopefully the comings and goings of pleasure craft and day trippers will be both interesting and help bring more business to the town — especially the growing riverside offering.”

His comments come following concerns raised by publican Lester Banks, landlord of the Three Daws pub which overlooks that section of the river.

Mr Banks said he hopes extra business will be created by the shipping using the pier but fears his pub’s unique views will be compromised

“This is a historic pub and I think it will be a shame if that image is spoiled by a great metal slab running across my customers eyeline,” he said.

Cllr Snelling argued the pontoon was not a new addition, but replaces a former structure.

He added: “Old photographs demonstrate that there used to be a pontoon in exactly the same place as the new one. The river has been our lifeblood in the past and once again we are looking to the Thames to revive the area.”

Councillors delegated responsibility for passing the plan to the service manager at a meeting earlier this month.

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