South Parade Pier ‘should be for the community’

Portsmouth MP flies out to storm-hit islands on first trip as development secretary

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PEOPLE have been sharing their views about what should happen to South Parade Pier now that it’s under new ownership.

Architecture students from the University of Portsmouth have been talking to local people about what they would like to see on the pier.

Catherine Teeling - Senior Lecturer on Sustainability Architecture at The University of Portsmouth with South Parade Pier as a backdrop ''Picture by:  Malcolm Wells (150321-0582)

Catherine Teeling - Senior Lecturer on Sustainability Architecture at The University of Portsmouth with South Parade Pier as a backdrop ''Picture by: Malcolm Wells (150321-0582)

The pier investors – who include Tommy Ware, his son who is also called Tommy Ware, Lawrence ‘Larry’ Mendal and another who wants to remain anonymous – say they welcome feedback from residents as they look to bring the pier back to life.

Many people said they wanted it to be a part of the community and suggestions included market stalls, arcades, a fish and chip shop and a function room.

Nick Anderson, 67, from Melrose Close in Milton, said: ‘I think it should be a functional suite which incorporates a conference centre. And a separate bar for people who wish to have a quiet drink.’

His wife Heather, 68, added: ‘Some of the suggestions were for an outdoor gym on the edge of the pier. I think that would work.’

Kay Harris, 67, is from Kent Road. She said: ‘I think it should be for the community.

‘It should be kept as open and adaptable a space as possible. On the front you could have market stalls. The Southsea and Albert Road markets have really taken off.

‘I would love a fish and chip shop. It’s such a wonderful place to sit. It’s got to be for everybody.’

The consultation took place on Saturday at the Royal Beach Hotel, which is directly opposite the pier.

Catherine Teeling is a senior lecturer in sustainable architecture at the university.

She said: ‘The students have never done anything like this before so were a little bit nervous, but also excited.’

Leon Reis, chairman of the South Parade Pier Trust, said: ‘It’s a brilliant initiative by the university.

‘Hopefully what we will get out of it is a repaired pier that people can enjoy for decades to come.’

The owners have said all views will be taken into account, but that people can also register their views at southparadepier.net.