South Parade Pier owners want to add a new bar for ‘family’ use

CRUMBLING South Parade Pier, where the owners want to open a new bar
CRUMBLING South Parade Pier, where the owners want to open a new bar
The fragment from the Union Jack believed to have flown on board HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. Credit: Sotheby's

Flag from HMS Victory and Lord Nelson’s love letters up for sale at London auction

Have your say

THE owners of South Parade Pier are asking permission to open a third bar.

Fred Nash and Dawn Randall own the pier, which has mostly been closed to the public for months over safety issues.

The only part that remains open is the arcade and shops at the front of the pier.

Now, a licence application has been lodged with Portsmouth City Council for permission to sell alcohol, play music and show sporting events on TVs around the bar until 2am.

The plan, said Mr Nash, was for the bar to become an extension of the pier’s Gaiety Suite for when that bar is refurbished and the pier as a whole is able to open. The licence application states the new bar will form part of the arcade, though Mr Nash says this is inaccurate.

He said: ‘The bar will be completely separate to the arcade.

‘It will in no way be associated with the arcade other than people being able to get through in extreme emergencies.’

As reported in The News previously, the owners – who run the pier under the company name Battledown Ltd – have pledged to complete three phases of work on it.

The first saw work completed on the front of the pier, including refurbishing its facade and installing new shutters.

The second relates to the bar areas at the rear of the pier, and the third looks to tackle the open part at the back, which used to be a children’s fun fair and an embarkation point for paddle steamers.

Mr Nash said: ‘We have completed the first phase and we’re still working on the second, which takes in the Gaiety.

‘This new bar would just join on to the Gaiety as there’s a big passageway through. It’s all been approved by the fire, and the police have been there too.’

The deadline for nearby residents to have their say on the licence application is October 10, and the council will decide whether to allow it some time in early to mid November.

However, contractors will be starting work on the conversion on Tuesday, as well as looking at the structure underneath the pier.

‘It’s cleaning the rust off, and general maintenance,’ said Mr Nash.

As well as the licence for music, alcohol and sport events, the licence will also give permission for live music, films, plays and boxing or wrestling to be held.

Mr Nash said: ‘That’s to give us flexibility but we want this to be a family pub, where people can eat and drink.

‘When the Gaiety is open we want people to come through for food, so the opening times would have to match for that.’