Dilapidated Hebburn jetty will come under the spotlight next week ( 29 January) when local Councillors meet to discuss its future.
The Council-owned timber jetty at Hebburn Riverside Park is in a dangerous state and has remained closed to the public on health and safety grounds until a detailed inspection was carried out.
That has now been completed and Members of Hebburn Community Area forum (CAF) will be given a report setting out the current situation of the jetty and presenting options for its future. Experts found that although the main structural piles and bracing timbers are in a good enough condition, the decking planks and supporting timbers are rotten beyond repair and must be replaced.
Councillor Eddie McAtominey, Lead Member for Corporate Development in South Tyneside and a member of Hebburn CAF is dismayed at the jetty's condition and is calling for its complete restoration.
He says: "This jetty is a very essential part of the Riverside Park and it is an important public amenity which must be repaired and restored to its original condition as soon as possible.
"I have had many calls from local people who are very worried about the state of the jetty. It's dangerous, it's an eyesore and it needs to be completely re-decked, properly lit and made safe so it can used to its full potential."
The estimated cost of carrying out all this work is in the region of £260,000. As the condition of the jetty is a health and safety concern it can be included in the Council's planned maintenance programme if the Cabinet gives approval.
Members of the CAF will have to decide at their meeting on Wednesday (29 January) whether or not they should recommend the jetty restoration scheme to the Cabinet.
Councillor McAtominey adds: "The future of all our timber jetties is an issue that will eventually have to be looked at as some of them are unsafe. However the Hebburn Riverside Park structure must be tackled as soon as possible and it needs to have a substantial amount of money spent on it to bring it up to scratch.
It is my firm belief that if this restoration is carried out fully then the jetty has the potential to contribute to the overall enhancement of the area as an attraction forming part of the transformational agenda for not just Hebburn, but for the whole of South Tyneside."