Fresh setback as re-opening of South Parade Pier is pushed back until the summer

The reopening of South Parade Pier has been delayed
The reopening of South Parade Pier has been delayed

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SOUTH Parade Pier is now not expected to reopen until the summer – prompting fresh concerns about the length of time it is taking to get the attraction back open.

Owners Tommy Ware Snr and his son Tommy Jnr had hoped to start allowing the public back on part of it by Easter.

But following discussions with local campaign group People’s Plan for Southsea, they have decided to push back the opening until the summer – around the time of the America’s Cup World Series – and carry out further repair work.

Poor weather has been blamed for the hold-up.

But Leon Reis, chairman of South Parade Trust, is concerned by the further setback.

A statement issued on behalf of the owners said: ‘It has been decided that the pier will now re-open to the public in the summer.

‘This will allow them not only to re-surface the entire pier but carry out the remaining works to the highest possible standard.

‘The owners had previously hoped to allow the public to walk on the pier by Easter, but bad weather and other factors have meant that this would mean cutting corners, which is something they are simply not prepared to do.

‘The owners said they would like to thank the people of Portsmouth for their support and patience and will continue to supply more updates and photos as the work proceeds.

Mr Reis said: ‘This is about the 11th promised opening in the two years since Tommy Ware has had control of the pier. My aspiration was to see this pier open to the public three years ago.

‘This is turning into the longest repair job ever. Why is it taking so long?’