Fears raised over proposals to bring wrestling and adult entertainment to South Parade Pier

South Parade Pier. 
Picture: Celia Clark
South Parade Pier. Picture: Celia Clark

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FEARS have been raised over proposals to restore a late-night licence to South Parade Pier.

The structure’s owners are looking to re-instate the pier’s licence to serve alcohol until 2am alongside events such as wresting, boxing matches, club nights and adult entertainment events.

It follows the soft re-opening of the pier this Easter, with the owners planning to host the events following its future full opening later this year.

Nearby residents have expressed anger at the proposals, labelling them ‘tawdry’ and ‘totally unsuitable.’

Mr A Denny from Whitwell Road, Southsea, commented on the licence application, stating: ‘The pier is totally unsuitable for mass late-night drinking, live music and entertainment of a sexual nature because of the immediate proximity of the residential area.

‘The proposed events are tawdry and unimaginative and unlikely to be commercially successful if they are not attractive to local residents.’

Mrs M Schafer, of The Retreat, Southsea also commented: ‘This application feels like a backward step to the bad old days of Portsmouth’s reputation as a drunk’s destination of choice.

‘Such a shame that the relaunch of the pier and all the high hopes we had for it have been dashed.’

The pier lost its licence back in 2012 after it was closed down for safety reasons.

Under the proposed licensing hours, the pier would be able to sell alcohol on Monday to Saturday from 11am until 2am.

Entertainment events would be licensed from Monday to Thursday between 11am until 2am and from 11am until 3am on Friday’s and Saturday’s.

According to Portsmouth City Council’s website, 37 comments have been made on the application with 33 in favour and four against.

Angela Rose, of Selsey Avenue, was in support of the plans.

She said: ‘I am really looking forward to a multi-purpose entertainment venue in Southsea. It will bring the life back to the seafront.’

Leon Reis, chairman of East Southsea Neighbourhood Forum said: ‘Running events until 2am is not very family friendly for those who live nearby.

‘We do not want people coming on to the street drunk at 2am and causing anti-social behaviour all across the roads leading up to Albert Road.’

Nick Courtney, spokesperson for the owners Tommy Ware Jnr and Tommy Ware Snr said: ‘The pier has always provided late-night entertainment along with many other pubs and venues in Portsmouth and there are plenty that have no problems with anti-social behaviour at all.

‘The revenue generated by a late-night licence is imperative to the survival of the pier.

‘If you were to take the late-night licence from the Pyramids Centre or the Wedgewood Rooms then they would not survive.’

The council is set to consider the licence at a meeting at the Guildhall on June 20.