THE bid to get visitors back on South Parade Pier in time for the America’s Cup World Series has been dashed.
A court hearing to decide whether the decks should be re-opened has been put off until August as the last bit of minor structural repairs couldn’t be signed off in time.
We are bitterly disappointed with the delay, that has been caused by a couple of minor repairs delaying structural reports that were required for the court hearing.Tommy Ware Snr, co-owner of South Parade Pier
An application to amend a dangerous structure notice put on the pier last year was due to go before Portsmouth Magistrates Court yesterday.
But it was adjourned as the Southsea pier’s structural survey team were unable to produce a report on the last remaining works in time for the hearing.
In a statement, pier co-owner Tommy Ware Snr said he was ‘bitterly disappointed’ about the situation.
He said: ‘The court date for removal of the repairs order has been delayed until August 3 which means it will not be possible to open the pier deck for the America’s Cup.
‘We are bitterly disappointed with the delay, that has been caused by a couple of minor repairs delaying structural reports that were required for the court hearing.
‘Meanwhile, we will continue with our busy works schedule and all other aspects are on schedule and going to plan.
‘Further updates will be announced in the near future.’
Nick Courtney, of the People’s Plan for Southsea, which promotes seafront development, said the delay would be for the best.
He said: ‘It’s a shame it won’t be open in time, but they are working on the buildings now and if the public had been allowed on the pier while that work was happening, it would have done more harm than good.
‘For the sake of a three, four day event, it will be preferable if the public saw the pier for the first time after the buildings had been refurbished.’
The structure notice, imposed in conjunction with Portsmouth City Council last May, was varied in March this year to allow the public to walk along the promenade again. It followed a major programme of works.