CONTROVERSIAL plans to moor a historic ship at Harwich Quay have been approved.

Tendring Council has agreed the LV18, the last manned lightship, can be permanently moored at the quay as a tourist attraction.

The Pharos Trust, which submitted the application in November, hopes to have the ship open to the public by the summer.

Colin Crawford, of the trust, said: “We are very pleased. We have had a considerable amount of support from the public and now we have successfully completed the first stage.

“There’s about ten to 12 weeks of work which needs to be done after we have found the right contractor to do the job.

“It’s a little early to give a completion date, but we are hoping for early summer.”

The planning application has caused controversy among some Harwich town councillors and businesses, who argued it is not the right place for the ship.

The vessel will not be allowed to be illuminated unless the local planning authority gives permission and it will only be open to the public between 9am and 6pm.