WORKS to repair a collapsed section of Clacton Pier will not be as straight forward as the landmark's bosses has hoped, it has been revealed.

A small section of the ride deck collapsed into the sea on February 14 following the effects of Storm Ciara.

Structural refurbishment work was being carried out at the time to strengthen the existing concrete deck area which had been home to Stella’s Revenge, in readiness for the new Looping Star ride.

The debris has now been cleared away and pier director Billy Ball said the next stage is to carry out the repairs as soon as possible.

Mr Ball met with Clacton MP Giles Watling after it was revealed that repairs could take longer than expected due to permissions being needed for work to be carried out.

Mr Ball said it is important that the work is not delayed, and any hold-ups would have a significant adverse effect on the business.

“We have discovered that carrying out the repairs may not be quite as straight forward as we initially anticipated in terms of permissions and that is all being looked into,” he said.

“We need to get these matters resolved and any help Giles can give us to move things forward will be greatly appreciated.

“We were delighted when he agreed to come down and meet us - and we had very positive discussions.”

The pier has already been visited by a government body, the Marine Management Organisation, and discussions took place about the way forward.

Mr Ball added that at this stage there is no final figure for the cost of the repairs or any start date for the scheme.

“A number of our outside rides – Twister, Paratrooper, Bumper Boats, Scalextric and hopefully the Go-Karts will open next Saturday, February 29, and we will reopen to fishermen on the same day,” he said.

“As always we will strive to keep our customers updated as the situation progresses.”

Mr Watling visited the landmark attraction to witness the extent of recent damage and pledged his support for the pier.

“I am quite prepared to have talks with those involved in this process to try to ensure that there are no unnecessary delays,” said Mr Watling.

“We do not want another situation like the West Pier at Brighton and Clacton Pier’s directors really need to get on with the programme of repairs as soon as possible.

“The pier is one of Clacton’s most important employers and is crucial to the holiday industry of both the town and wider Tendring district.

“We must not let this situation drag on and I will do whatever I can to help.”