Tenant sleeps on South Parade Pier to thwart owners

DISPUTE South Parade Pier, Southsea. Picture: Paul Jacobs (122983-16)
DISPUTE South Parade Pier, Southsea. Picture: Paul Jacobs (122983-16)
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A ROW has broken out between the South Parade Pier’s arcade tenant and its owners Fred Nash and Dawn Randall.

Arcade manager Kevin Wilson spent last night sleeping on the staff room floor, after Mr Nash and Ms Randall attempted to get into the arcade yesterday evening.

Arcade owner Owain Harris said the owners were attempting to get inside so they can change the locks and force the arcade to stop trading.

Mr Harris said: ‘The issue is surrounding our lease, and we are taking legal advice.

‘We signed a 21-year-lease with SPP South Coast, rather than the pier’s parent company, and now SPP South Coast is in administration they want us out.

‘We believe we are in a stronger position legally if we remain on site.’

Mr Wilson was still in the arcade this afternoon, despite his night spent on the floor.

He said: ‘To say it was a stressful situation was an understatement.

‘I had to keep to the staff room, because the alarms were on everywhere else.’

Mr Harris and Mr Wilson were today considering whether to reopen the arcade, or to wait until after it is auctioned next month.

‘We’ve been counting down the days until there are new owners ever since we took the lease on in May,’ Mr Harris added.

But he said: ‘I have spoken to Mr Nash this morning and he was very conciliatory, so we don’t know what’s going to happen.’

As reported in today’s News, Mr Nash said the reason he is attempting to evict the arcade’s owners is over unpaid rent.

The News understands the pier will be auctioned with the tenants in situ, and there are no issues between its owners and the owner of the pier’s other shops – Brunel News and the ice cream shop.

Mr Nash has so far today been unavailable for comment.