THE bid to reopen South Parade Pier to the public has taken another step forward.
The Southsea attraction’s owners say Portsmouth City Council has declared the front to be structurally safe.
We are aiming to get people walking on the pier for the America’s Cup - that is our goalTommy Ware Jnr
The two parties now need to meet in court so a judge can amend the dangerous structure notice in place on the pier to allow people to walk along the promenade.
Should that be approved, the hoardings will be taken down before the owners consider reopening the ice cream shop and newsagents.
Businessman Tommy Ware Jnr, who is in charge of the pier with his father Tommy Ware Snr and Lawrence ‘Larry’ Mendel, said everything was going smoothly, and that the target of opening the length of the pier before the America’s Cup World Series in July is still in place.
‘We could not have wished for a better start,’ Mr Ware said.
‘We have had good weather, we have hardly been held up.
‘Everything is very positive our end.
‘We’re now looking to get the danger structure notice lifted on the front end and that gives us the opportunity to open the empty shops.
‘Things are moving forward.’
He added: ‘We are aiming to get people walking on the pier for the America’s Cup – that is our goal.
‘But a lot of that is weather permitting.’
Mr Ware said city council officials visited the pier last week and saw work on the front canopy had been completed.
New concrete will be poured on the pier in the coming weeks after work was done to repair steelwork underneath.
A court date to determine whether the front of the pier should reopen has not yet been set.
Nick Courtney, of The People’s Plan for Southsea, which is campaigning for new development on the seafront and supports the new owners, said: ‘It is absolutely brilliant that the notice could be finally lifted, and I look forward to an Easter opening.’
As revealed by The News, the consortium has spent more than £500,000 on repairs.