Pier pressure – owners forced to make pier safe

Portsmouth City Council has instructed the owners of South Parade Pier, Southsea to undertake repairs.

The Grade II listed building, closed since 2012, has been badly damaged by the recent storms and there are concerns about public safety.

The council has advised the owners that if repairs are not completed promptly, it will undertake them and invoice the current owners, Dawn Randall and Fred Nash.

Council Leader, Gerald Vernon-Jackson is very concerned about the proprietors and maintains he has two interested buyers.

He said: ‘I’ve been talking to two potential owners of the pier, both of whom want to invest in, both of whom want to make it a pier again with public access and things happening on it, both of whom think they can make this work as a business.’

If the council does not receive payment for any work, it will initiate legal proceedings to do so or obtain possession of the pier.  The second option would entail selling the pier to someone to pay off the monies owed.

One of those parties interested in acquiring the Victorian pleasure pier is the South Parade Trust (SPT), founded in 2012.

SPT Chairman, Leon Reis spoke about his plans for the opening: ‘I visualise thousands of local people here for a fantastic party.  A real celebration, a community celebration’

Whilst the owners were unavailable for comment, Ms Randall has been reported saying the pier has been sold to an unnamed businessman.

The public are likely to find out who undertakes the works in the coming weeks.

Published on March 12, 2014 on winol.co.uk

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