SOUTH Parade Pier had its water cut off after its owners failed to pay an overdue bill.
The News can reveal that Portsmouth Water took the radical step of completely stopping its supply to the seafront attraction after nothing was paid for almost two months.
The company has confirmed that on August 8 there was no water for several hours because the direct debit set up by SPP South Coast Ltd to pay the water bill was refused by the bank.
This left an outstanding balance of £684 which was eventually paid by the leaseholders of the arcade, who were in the process of opening a new fish and chip shop on the pier.
Portsmouth Water managing director Neville Smith, said the decision to turn off the water was made reluctantly after numerous unsuccessful requests for payment.
He said: ‘We have been in contact with them over several months. We wrote to them on July 2 saying that if we didn’t receive payment we would turn the water off.
‘We were constantly in contact trying to arrange payment and subsequently no payment was received.’
He said that the bill had now been transferred into the leaseholders’ name and the water was only off for ‘a few hours’.
‘We would only turn people’s supplies off if we had made a lot of effort to actually resolve the situation,’ he said.
‘We don’t do it lightly. If people have failed to pay their bill it is the rest of our customers who will pay for that.
‘We can’t turn off domestic supplies, only businesses.’
Mr Smith added that it was rare for a business which hadn’t gone bust to have its supply turned off, but it wasn’t the first time for SPP South Coast Ltd.
He said: ‘I am sorry if we inconvenienced any members of the public.’
When contacted by The News the pier’s joint owner Dawn Randall denied the water had been turned off and claimed they were up-to-date with their bills.
She also added that she didn’t want to run South Parade Pier any more and was looking to sell.
Arcade leaseholder Owain Harris added: ‘We are still hoping to have the grand opening of our new fish and chip shop on Friday, this hasn’t changed that.’