Front of South Parade Pier is open to public

Employees from Colas putting up the fences around the pier to keep the public out''.''Picture: Sarah Standing (123548-1545)
Employees from Colas putting up the fences around the pier to keep the public out''.''Picture: Sarah Standing (123548-1545)
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TRADERS at the front of South Parade Pier are safe to reopen following a decision by Portsmouth City Council.

The local authority’s building surveyors met yesterday to determine whether they still needed to keep the entire building closed to the public.

On Wednesday workers from Colas, the council’s highways contractor, put up fences around the entrance and promenade until urgent repair work had been carried out by the pier’s owners.

But after an inspection yesterday they were satisfied that the ice cream parlour, newsagents and part of the arcade did not have to stay shut.

The Boat Deck chip shop remains closed for the time being.

Gerald Vernon-Jackson, the leader of Portsmouth City Council said: ‘Surveyors visited the pier yesterday afternoon and assessed that subject to regular inspections concessions at the front can open, but the rest of the pier must remain closed as it is supported by steelwork in a dangerous condition.

‘The pier has deteriorated to such an extent sections are structurally unsafe.

‘It is a sad situation for the people trying to run a business from the concessions which are affected by the closure, and I can only hope the owners will get this resolved as soon as possible.

‘It is the responsibility of the owners to make sure the structure is safe, however we have a duty to step in if a building becomes a danger to the public.’

Leon Reis is chairman of The People’s Pier Limited, the community group trying to buy the pier, and said he was happy about the council’s decision.

He said: ‘We are delighted that the council has decided extremely wisely to do all they can to protect jobs where there is no danger to the public.

‘There are 13 full and 
part-time jobs at stake and right now nobody can afford to lose them.’