Gull mast to make yacht club return
3:20pm Wednesday 29th August 2012 in News
PART of a major Grays landmark could soon find a new home.
An application has been made by Thurrock Council to erect the mast from the wrecked Gull lightship on land at Grays Yacht Club.
The historic ship, number 38 on the Trinity House Ancient List, dated back to around 1860.
It was rammed and sunk near the City of York on March 18, 1929, resulting in the death of Captain Williams.
Thurrock Yacht Club brought the vessel for £750 in 1947 and it was the club’s headquarters until 1971, when a permanent home was built and the ship was rendered redundant again.
She lay on the banks of the Thames off Grays in a state of disrepair, and fell victim to vandalism.
In October last year, the ship was taken apart and sold off for scrap, but the 75ft mast was rescued.
Solar panels were installed on the mast in refurbishment works costing £48,000, and planning permission was granted for it to be installed at a site within Grays Town Wharf.
Concerns about the mast being open to vandalism have led to this latest application to site it within Grays Yacht Club.
Thurrock Council’s planning committee will discuss the application at its latest meeting tomorrow (Thursday).
Planning officers are recommending the application is approved.
A report said: “The application is promoted as a heritage installation for the benefit of Thurrock residents. The structure will be sunk into the ground at the base and will be self supporting, with no requirement for any cables to secure it in place.
“There will be a light in the top part of the mast.
“The mast would be located over 120m from the nearest residential properties to the north western side of the site and over 170m from the nearest residential properties on the junction of Thames Road and Argent Street.
“Given the distance from these properties, it is not considered it would be detrimental to their amenities or outlook.
“It is considered the mast would contribute positively to the character and appearance of this area.”
The report goes on to say that although the mast will be illuminated, the level of light can be controlled and it is not thought it will effect homes nearby.
Although the mast will be within the yacht club’s grounds, it will still be visible from the outside, especially to anyone using the riverside footpath.