Seafront is little more than a dilapidated afterthought

COMMENT: Not allowing appeals from the elderly is unfair

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As Portsmouth plays another starring role in the UK’s Fifty Worst Places list, let’s be honest, we could do a lot better with this naturally beautiful city.

The biggest sin is our seafront – all the more painful because it is the jewel in the crown.

One of the most inspiring outlooks in the world is a dilapidated afterthought.

Yes, Gunwharf is nice and we have world-class heritage and museums. But most cities in the UK can boast about outlet-shopping and one-off museums.

So, let’s make a song and dance about our Unique Selling Point.

Imagine this: a place where you can easily park your car. The children can jump around on the common or in the water; maybe there are some children’s/family activities actually on the beach in which they can participate.

Perhaps there might be a relaxed, cultured beach bar where you could grab a bite to eat or a cold beer.

Then maybe you could hire a bike or a kayak for a few hours and look back on the city from the water.

Finally, at the end of the day, find a nice restaurant right on the seafront (how about a glass-bottomed restaurant on the pier?) where you could enjoy a local catch while watching the flotilla of vessels sailing in and out of the harbour entrance.

Take a look at our neighbours. Bournemouth (granted, their beaches are slightly nicer) offers a selection of activities (train rides, surf lessons, bike hire) and eateries from Bournemouth gardens to Boscombe & beyond.

Brighton beach is a hive of activity in the summer. It’s more bohemian than Portsmouth, but businesses are vying for your pound. They want you to have a good time.

A tastefully developed seafront would work wonders for the local economy too; just imagine the hordes of tourists bee-lining into town, pockets brimming with moolah.

More importantly for residents, we could have a fun, interesting and engaging destination to take the family for a great day out, whatever the weather.

I believe Portsmouth is the Great Waterfront City, except the waterfront is more… mediocre.

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