PLANS to fully reopen South Parade Pier have taken a step forward after a court ruling.
Magistrates yesterday lifted an order banning the public from going on to part of the structure after hearing sufficient remedial works had been carried out to the floor.
Speaking outside Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court, Malcolm Belcher, South Parade Limited’s surveyor, said it meant the owners could now secure tenants – including a well-known restaurant.
Mr Belcher said: ‘It is another milestone in the recent history of South Parade Pier.
‘We’ve managed to achieve the permission to open approximately one-third of the pier to the public, planned for summer 2016 with the remaining areas planned for summer 2017.
‘It allows us to enter into formal arrangements with prospective tenants.
The owners have continued to show their commitment and dedication to getting the pier into a condition whereby it’s able to be used and enjoyed for generations to comeMalcolm Belcher
‘The owners have continued to show their commitment and dedication to getting the pier into a condition whereby it’s able to be used and enjoyed for generations to come.’
The ruling means that 51m of the pier back from the promenade can open.
Previously this was limited to the structures of the pier on land.
An order was made in May 2014 excluding the public from the pier.
This was later amended in March 2015 to allow the front to open.
Pier bosses hope to go back to court next year to ask for the final bit to be lifted.
Last year the owners – Tommy Ware Snr and his son Tommy Jnr – unveiled plans for a big wheel, zip wire and roof-top restaurant at the pier.
Yesterday outside court Mr Belcher said these plans would not be completed by 2017, with the owners focusing on bringing in tenants.
Councillor Linda Symes is cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport at Portsmouth City Council.
Cllr Symes said: ‘It’s wonderful – I went to have a look at the pier and I was absolutely amazed at the amount of work done.
‘They’re doing a really good job, they’re restoring all the seating to its original state.
‘What they’ve got left to do is cosmetic. I was seriously impressed with the work.’
She added: ‘Piers are unique and there were lots of people who had concerns when the pier was taken over by a private company but hats off to them.’